BP 4030 Academic Freedom - Board Policies, Chapter 4 Academic Affairs

  • Reference: Title 5, Section 51023; Accreditation Standard II.A.7.
  • Board Approved: 11/09/05
  • Reviewed and Reapproved: 3/10/10

Citizens in a free society in order to discharge their responsibilities intelligently must examine, with critical judgment, all points of view on major issues.

The Governing Board of the Ohlone Community College District in order to create an environment and atmosphere most conducive to excellent teaching and to provide students with the most appropriate learning conditions approve the following policy for Academic Freedom:

The community having invested resources in a community college has the obligation to support and sustain an atmosphere which encourages the free exploration of ideas.

Academic Freedom includes the protection of the opportunity for the teacher to teach, and for the teacher and the student to study, without coercion, censorship, or other forms of restrictive interference and that academic freedom encourages the flow of ideas with the recognition that freedom to teach and freedom to learn imply both rights and responsibilities within the framework of the law.

Instructors as citizens, members of a learned profession, and representatives of the Ohlone Community College District shall be free from District censorship and discipline when speaking or writing. However, the special position of instructors imposes special obligations. Instructors as representatives of the District should be accurate, objective, exercise appropriate restraint, encourage a spirit of mutual respect for the opinion of others, and ensure the relevancy of subject matter to their instructional areas.

Teaching Controversial Subjects: Citizens in a free society in order to discharge their responsibilities fully and intelligently must examine, with critical judgment, all points of view regarding major issues of their day and nation.

  1. Objectivity: Instructors shall maintain an attitude of objectivity on controversial topics when discussing them with students.
  2. Respect for Others: Instructors shall encourage a spirit of mutual respect for honest and informed opinions, regardless of how divergent they may be.
  3. Relevant Data: Instructors shall become fully informed about the various viewpoints on problems relevant to their instructional assignments and present pertinent and objective data to their students.
  4. Suitable Learning Materials: Instructors and librarians shall make available a variety of suitable learning materials from which students may obtain valid data dealing with the pros and cons of issues being studied.
  5. Time Consideration: A reasonable allocation of time shall be devoted to the study of any single issue, in accordance with the approved course outline and student needs.