Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom & Professional Responsibility

(Article 6 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement)

6.1 The CCSNH and the Association endorse the principles and standards of academic freedom and academic responsibilities generally and traditionally accepted in institutions of higher education. Therefore, as an academic community committed to teaching and service excellence, the CCSNH fosters a professional atmosphere that promotes the highest standards of professional conduct and integrity.

To ensure students within the community college system are provided with a quality education, it is expected that faculty and staff are aware of and comply with their professional responsibilities to demonstrate the highest standards of professional behavior; to exercise professional judgment; to perform official duties effectively, efficiently, and with honesty, integrity, and fairness; to be conscious of the need for the equitable treatment of all students; and to use institutional resources economically.

6.2 Freedom of Expression

6.2.1 Progress on addressing matters of concern within an academic community requires the free and open exchange of ideas, approaches, and points of view. Accordingly, the CCSNH is committed to an environment in which free expression is the right of every member of the college community. It is likewise essential that such expressions of points of view be conducted in a climate of mutual respect, with due regard for the rights of others and in a responsible manner that prevents disruption and permits the efficient and effective operations of the CCSNH.

6.2.2 In his/her role as a citizen, every member of the CCSNH community has the same freedoms as other citizens. However, in his/her external communications he/she has an obligation to make every effort to indicate that he/she is not an institutional spokesperson. Nothing herein shall be construed as an abridgement of the rights guaranteed to every member of the CCSNH community by the constitutions of the United States, or the State of New Hampshire.

6.3 Academic Freedom

6.3.1 The Parties agree to promote public understanding and support of academic freedom. 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. Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research.

6.3.2 Academic freedom is the right of scholars and teachers in institutions of higher education freely to study, discuss, investigate, teach, exhibit, perform and publish. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning.

6.3.3 The faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in the exhibition, performance and publication of the results of the faculty member’s research, to full freedom in the classroom in discussing the faculty member’s subject, and, most specifically, in the selection of the faculty member’s classroom materials including the selection of texts (unless the text is prescribed by mutual agreement of the faculty of a department). The faculty member is entitled to discuss controversial issues. As both a faculty member and scholar, the faculty member recognizes the faculty member’s professional obligation to present various scholarly opinions and to avoid presenting totally unrelated materials, that being fundamental to the advancement of truth.

6.3.4 A faculty member has the right to pursue work or other activities outside the College, provided such work or activities do not interfere with the discharge of the faculty member’s duties and responsibilities.

6.4 Academic Responsibilities

6.4.1 Academic freedom carries with it correlative responsibilities. The faculty member has the responsibility to the faculty member’s colleagues and the College community to preserve intellectual honesty in the faculty member’s teaching and research. The faculty member respects the free inquiry of the faculty member’s associates and avoids interference in their work.

6.4.2 The college faculty member is a citizen and a member of a learned profession affiliated with an educational institution. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, the faculty member should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but the faculty member’s special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning, affiliated with an educational institution, the faculty member should remember that the public may judge the faculty member’s profession and the faculty member’s utterances. Hence, the faculty member should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinion of others, and should make every effort to indicate when the faculty member is not an institutional spokesperson. Institutions of higher education are committed to the search for truth and knowledge and to contributing to the solution of problems and controversies by the method of rational discussion.