Academic Freedom, Due Process, and Shared Governance Defined
What is Academic Freedom?
• Academic freedom is the right of scholars to pursue research, to teach, and to publish without control or restraint from the institutions that employ them.
• In the case of scholars, whose occupation is directly involved with that right, the concept of academic freedom generally includes the property right of tenure of office and a guarantee of the permanence of a college or university teacher's position which is awarded upon successful completion of a probationary period, usually seven years.
• Essential to the acceptance of the concept of academic freedom is the notion that truth is best discovered through the open investigation of all data.
• A less clearly developed corollary of academic freedom is the obligation of all those who enjoy it to pursue the line of open and thorough inquiry regardless of personal considerations.
What is Due Process?
Faculty are entitled to the rights of due process. These include the right to be notified in a timely manner of any complaints or grievances against them and the right to respond to those complaints or grievances.
What is Shared Governance?
• The organization of internal governance is generally composed of a governing board (board of regents, board of directors), the university president (executive head, CEO) with a team of administrative chancellors and staff, faculty senates, academic deans, department chairs, and usually some form of organization for student representation. • The AAUP published its first "Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities" in 1920,“emphasizing the importance of faculty involvement in personnel decisions, selection of administrators, preparation of the budget, and determination of educational policies.”