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Academic Freedom

CRR 310.010 Academic Freedom and Economic Security of Academic Staff

Bd. Min. 3-17-72, p. 36,281; Revised Bd. Min. 6-27-80, p. 38,132; Amended Bd. Min. 9-12-80.

The Board of Curators of the University of Missouri believes that academic freedom and the economic security of its academic staff are indispensable to the success of the University of Missouri in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society. The Board, therefore, hereby adopts and approves the following principles, the detailed application of which is implemented by the rules and regulations of the Board; and also adopts the following rules and regulations. (Although these rules and regulations cover in some detail certain aspects of the nature of regular academic staff positions, appointments thereto, and the rights of the holders thereof, these rules and regulations do not purport to cover in the same detail the nature of nonregular academic staff positions, appointments thereto, or the rights of the holders thereof, and do not purport to cover in any way non-academic staff.)

  1. General Principles of Academic Freedom — The Board hereby reaffirms the principles of academic freedom in teaching and research for teachers and academic investigators (herein referred to as faculty members). These principles are as follows:
    1. Institutions of higher education are established and maintained for the common good, which depends upon the free search for truth and its free expression.
    2. Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is fundamental to the protection of the rights of the faculty member in teaching and of the student in learning. It carries with it duties correlative with rights. The following sections are indicative of these rights and duties.
      1. Faculty members are entitled to freedom in research and in the publication of the results (qualified insofar as necessary in the case of sponsored research), subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties.
      2. Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects, but have the responsibility not to depart significantly from their respective areas of competence or to divert substantial time to material extraneous to the course.
      3. College or university faculty members are citizens, members of an educational institution, and members of learned professions. When they speak or write as citizens, they are to be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. They should anticipate that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances and actions.Hence, they 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 institution.
  2. The Principle of Tenure — Tenure is the right to be free from dismissal without cause. Tenure is indispensable to the success of an institution of higher education in fulfilling its obligations to the common good.

 Understanding the Principles Related to Academic Freedom

Click above to view the AAUP policy document relative to Academic Freedom, available online at the AAUP website.