Chapter 2

Section E. Academic Freedom

By affirmation of the Board of Regents, Southeast Missouri State University joins numerous other Universities and learned societies in endorsing the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure promulgated by the Association of American Colleges and the American Association of University Professors as a basic description of academic freedom. This statement provides a conceptual basis for correlative rights in the areas of tenure and academic due process as set forth in the specific policies and procedures governing both at this University.

The University supports the spirit of the 1940 statement and attempts to keep its understanding and application of those principles current through careful attention to the nature of academic freedom and changing educational roles and responsibilities. It further endorses the conviction that institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual faculty member or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition.

The University endorses academic freedom as essential to the search for truth and its free expression, both in teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. From an instructional basis, academic freedom is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the faculty in teaching and of the student in the pursuit of advanced learning. It carries with it duties correlative with these rights. More specifically, the individual faculty member is:

  1. Entitled to full academic freedom in creative activity, research, and the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of his/her other academic responsibilities, but research for pecuniary return should follow the prescribed procedures approved by the institution.
  2. Entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject, but he/she should be careful not to introduce into his/her teaching controversial matters which are not related to the subject matter.

A citizen, a member of a learned profession, and a representative of the educational institution. When he/she speaks or writes as a citizen, he/she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but his/her special position in the community imposes special obligations. As an individual in an academic community, he/she should remember that the public may judge his/her profession and his/her institution by his/her actions and statements. Hence, he/she should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that he/she is not an institutional spokesperson (Policy Documents and Reports, American Association of University Professors, rev. 1977).

Faculty Senate Bill 76-A-01 was amended by Faculty Senate Bills 82-A-05, 83-A-03, & 03-A-05. Faculty Senate Bill 08-A-04 combined Tenure and Promotion. The revised Policy (08-A-04) begins here