Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good. The following statements rest upon the belief that the common good depends upon a free search for truth and its free expression without intent to do personal harm.

Each faculty member is entitled to full freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject which he/she teaches. Limitations to this basic statement exist only within the bounds of common decency and good taste. Each faculty member is also entitled to speak or write as a citizen of the nation, state and community without fear of institutional censorship or discipline.

The concept of academic freedom must be accompanied by an equally demanding concept of responsibility shared by the Board, administration, and faculty members.

The fundamental responsibilities of faculty members as teachers and scholars include a maintenance of competence in their field of specialization and the exhibition of such competence in lectures and discussions. Although publishing is not a fundamental responsibility of a faculty member, it is encouraged by the College.

The mastery of subject matter makes a faculty member a qualified authority in that discipline. In recognition of that expertise, the faculty member shall have an active role in the planning and implementation of curricula, the selection of textbooks, readings, and other teaching materials, and in the choice of instructional methods. The faculty member shall have the sole responsibility for assigning grades within the limits provided by law.

Exercise of professional integrity by a faculty member includes recognition that the public will judge the profession and the institution by his/her statements both in public and in private life. Therefore, he/she should strive to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraint, to show respect for the opinions of others, and to avoid creating the impression that he/she speaks or acts for his/her College when he/she speaks or acts as a private person.

A faculty member should be selective in the use of controversial material in the classroom and should introduce such material only as it has clear relationship to the subject field.

Date Issued: January 22, 2015

Updated: June 28, 2018