On Academic Freedom
Summary with reference to SACS
G. Jones, 3/19/06
Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement
3.7.4 The institution ensures adequate procedures for safeguarding and protecting
Code of the University of North
Section 602 of The Code further states that to promote and protect academic freedom, the Board of Trustees at each constituent institution must adopt policies and regulations governing academic tenure. Tenure and promotion policies adopted by the Board of Trustees go into effect upon review by the senior vice president for academic affairs and the vice president and general counsel, and approval by the president of the UNC system.
Reference: The Code Sections 600, 601, and 602 (online at http://www.northcarolina.edu/content.php/policies/CHAPTER_VI_only_web.htm
B. Academic Tenure Policies and Regulations of Western Carolina University also incorporate the principles set forth in Section 601 of The Code, encouraging full freedom, within the law, of inquiry, discourse, teaching, research, and publication for all members of the academic staff. Further, the university shall not penalize faculty members because of the exercise of academic freedom in lawful pursuit of scholarly and professional interest and responsibility.
Reference: WCU Faculty Handbook, 4.02.01
Tenure Policies and Regulations of
C. Both the WCU Faculty Senate and the state-wide Faculty Assembly actively support the principle of academic freedom. For example, Western’s Faculty Senate adopted unanimously in September of 2002 the following resolution concerning academic freedom:
RESOLUTION FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM
WHEREAS it is the duty of university boards, administrators, and faculty to resist politicizing institutions of learning,
WHEREAS the considered professional judgment of scholars, not politicians or legislators, must determine academic content and curricula,
WHEREAS it is the responsibility of universities to prepare students to become effective citizens in a global society,
WHEREAS the university owes its students opportunities to go to the source of controversial ideas,
WHEREAS academic freedom becomes a necessity, not a luxury, in times of war even more than times of peace,
WHEREAS the reputation of a university, as well as its accreditation, depends upon its ability to withstand legislative incursions into its domain,
THEREFORE WE RESOLVE to reaffirm the value of academic freedom,
AND to strive for a society based on genuine understanding,
AND to commend the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, President Broad, and all servants of the public good for their courageous defense of academic freedom in the face of economic and political pressures.
(Unanimously adopted September 15, 2002)
Examples of resolutions adopted by the state-wide Faculty Assembly—a faculty representative body of which Western is an active member—can be found at the following Web sites: