Regulation Number: 7.018

Academic Freedom and Responsibility

Category: Academic Affairs

Responsible Office: Provost and Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs




7.018 Academic Freedom and Responsibility.

(1) Academic Freedom and Responsibility.

(a) The University believes that academic freedom and responsibility are essential to the full development of a true university and apply to teaching, research, and creativity. In the development of knowledge, research endeavors, and creative activities, the faculty and student body must be free to cultivate a spirit of inquiry and scholarly criticism and to examine ideas in an atmosphere of freedom and confidence. The faculty must be free to engage in scholarly and creative activity and publish the results in a manner consistent with professional obligations. A similar atmosphere is required for university teaching. Consistent with the exercise of academic responsibility, a teacher must have freedom in the classroom in discussing academic subjects selecting instructional materials and determining grades. The university student must likewise have the opportunity to study a full spectrum of ideas, opinions, and beliefs, so that the student may acquire maturity for analysis and judgment. Objective and skillful exposition of such matters is the duty of every instructor.

(b) The established policy of the University continues to be that the faculty member must fulfill his/her responsibility to society and to his/her profession by manifesting academic competence, scholarly discretion, and good citizenship. The university instructor is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an academic officer of the University. The instructor should be constantly mindful that these roles may be inseparable in the public view, and should therefore at all times exercise appropriate restraint and good judgment.

(2) Academic freedom is accompanied by the corresponding responsibility to:

(a) Be forthright and honest in the pursuit and communication of scientific and scholarly knowledge;

(b) Respect students, staff and colleagues as individuals and avoid any exploitation of such persons for private advantage;

(c) Respect the integrity of the evaluation process with regard to students, staff and colleagues, so that it reflects their true merit;

(d) Indicate when appropriate that one is not an institutional representative unless specifically authorized as such; and

(e) Recognize the responsibilities arising from the nature of the educational process, including such responsibilities, but not limited to, observing and upholding the ethical standards of their discipline; participating, as appropriate, in the shared system of collegial governance, especially at the department/unit level; respecting the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student; and adhering to one’s proper role as teacher, researcher, intellectual mentor and counselor.


Specific Authority: 240.227(l) FS.

Law Implemented: 240.l05(2), 240.227(5), (19) FS.

History: New 5-l4-85, Formerly 6C1-7.18, Amended 6-28-98, Formerly 6C1-7.018, Amended 7-10-23 (technical changes only).