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Louisiana Tech University

Policies & Procedures

Policy 2101 - Academic Freedom and Responsibilities

Effective Date: 11/15/1971

Responsible Office: Office of the President

The Administrative and Planning Council of Louisiana Tech University, feeling that academic freedom carries with it certain privileges as well as certain responsibilities, has adopted the following statement that is the official position of Louisiana Tech University and which supersedes all previous statements and endorsements on this subject.

The purpose of this statement is to promote public understanding and support of academic freedom and responsibility and to seek procedures that will ensure academic freedom at Louisiana Tech University. Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition.

Institutions of higher education are committed to the solution of problems and controversies by the method of rational discussion. Acts of physical force or disruptive acts which interfere with University activities, freedom of movement on the campus, or freedom for students to pursue their studies are the antithesis of academic freedom and responsibility as are acts that, in effect, deny freedom of speech, freedom to be heard, and freedom to pursue research of one's own choosing to members of the academic community or to invited visitors to that community.

Academic freedom is the right of scholars in institutions of higher education freely to study, discuss, investigate, teach, and publish.

Academic freedom applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspects is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning. It carries with it duties which correspond with rights.

Academic Freedom

The teacher is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.

The teacher is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his/her subject, but should be careful not to introduce into teaching controversial matter which has no relation to the subject. Limitations of academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment.

The College or University teacher is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational institution. When speaking or writing as a citizen, the teacher should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but should be aware that this special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, the teacher should remember that the public may judge the profession and the institution by individual utterances. Hence, the teacher 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 the individual is not an institutional spokesperson.