RSCC Policies & Guidelines
Roane State Community College
Policy Number: PA-22-02
Subject: Academic Freedom and Responsibility
Roane State Community College (RSCC) subscribes to the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institutional policies on academic freedom and responsibility and specifically acknowledges compliance with TBR policy on Academic Freedom and Responsibility 5.02.03.30. Access TBR policy 5.02.03.30 at https://policies.tbr.edu/. The RSCC policy embodies and communicates clearly all provisions, definitions, and stipulations of the Board policy and provisions, definitions, and stipulations unique to RSCC.
- Academic Freedom - Faculty members’ freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, being careful not to introduce into the teaching unrelated subject matter, freedom in research and in the publication of the results, and faculty participation in institutional governance.
- Academic Responsibility – responsibility for the development and delivery of educational programs and services to students, obligation to participate in tenure and promotion review of colleagues as specified in policy PA-22-01 and policy PA-26-01 (access these policies at www.roanestate.edu/policies/), and obligation to take appropriate professional action against faculty members who are derelict in discharging their professional responsibilities.
- Faculty—The principles of academic freedom and responsibility here defined are applicable both to faculty as defined in TBR policy 5.02.07.00 Faculty Appointments at Community Colleges and to non-tenure track full-time, part-time, or adjunct faculty. Refer to TBR policy 5.02.07.00 at https://policies.tbr.edu/.
- Academic Freedom and Responsibility
- Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, being careful not to introduce unrelated subject matter into their teaching.
- The faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties, including and consistent with any and all policies pertaining to clinical and research practices. Research for financial gain must be based upon a written, signed agreement between the faculty member and the appropriate academic officer(s).
- The faculty member is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of the college. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, faculty should remember that the public may judge the profession and RSCC by the faculty member's utterances. Hence, a faculty member should, at all times, be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and make every effort to indicate that they do not speak for the college.
- Academic freedom is essential to fulfill the ultimate objectives of an educational institution—the free search for and exposition of truth—and applies to teaching, research, and faculty participation in institutional governance. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth, and academic freedom in teaching is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the faculty member in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning. Faculty participation in institutional governance is fundamental to the development and maintenance of effective academic policies, national and regional accreditation, and shared responsibility for the delivery of educational programs and services to students.
Implicit in the principle of academic freedom are the corollary responsibilities of the faculty who enjoy that freedom. Incompetence, indolence, intellectual dishonesty, failure to carry out assigned duties, serious moral dereliction, arbitrary and capricious disregard of standards of professional conduct and other grounds as set forth in RSCC policy PA-22-01 may constitute adequate cause for dismissal or other disciplinary sanctions against faculty members. Access RSCC policy PA-22-01, Academic Tenure, at www.roanestate.edu/policies/.
- The right to academic freedom imposes upon the faculty the obligation to take appropriate professional action against faculty members who are derelict in discharging their professional responsibilities. The faculty member has an obligation to participate in tenure and promotion review of colleagues as specified in institutional policy. Thus, academic freedom and academic responsibility are interdependent, and academic tenure is adopted as a means to protect the former while promoting the latter.
- While academic tenure is essential for the protection of academic freedom, the full benefits and responsibilities of academic freedom extend to all individuals teaching at the college, regardless of tenure status.
Revision History: 04/03/2006
TBR Policy Reference: 5.02.03.30
Revision Date Effective: 04/17/2023
Revision Approval By: Christopher L. Whaley, President
Original Date Effective: 01/11/1988
Original Approval By: Cuyler A. Dunbar, President
Office Responsible: Vice President Student Learning
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