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2.1 Rights

2.1.1 Academic Freedom

Faculty members have the right to academic freedom and are expected to seek and to speak the truth as they perceive it on the basis of expertise and research in their discipline. Academic freedom is this right for faculty members to teach, research, create, and perform about their knowledge and understanding in their discipline. This freedom persists even when faculty members hold a minority view within their discipline and when others in and beyond the institution find these views contrary or objectionable. The right of academic freedom applies to all faculty members, including non-tenure track faculty members. A faculty member should recognize that the right of academic freedom is enjoyed by all members of the academic community. She or he should be prepared at all times to support actively the right of the individual to freedom of research and communication.

2.1.2 Tenure

Tenure is defined in board policy and protects academic freedom. This status is awarded to a junior tenure-track faculty member after serving a successful probationary period that is typically six years, to a senior faculty member with previously demonstrated academic excellence who maintains excellence for a shorter probationary period, or to a senior faculty member of outstanding excellence or who is assuming a senior administrative position at the time of appointment. Additional information about tenure is found in Chapter 3.

2.1.3 Freedom as a Citizen

When faculty members communicate as citizens on matters of public concern, they operate independently of the university. In this situation, faculty members have rights common to all citizens, including the rights to organize associations, join associations, participate in public meetings, run for and serve in government offices subject to applicable state and federal laws and university personnel policies, demonstrate, picket, and voice their opinions. When exercising their rights as citizens, faculty members must also respect the university by not claiming to represent the positions or views of the university and by not using institutional resources.