Academic Freedom Policy
Academic institutions exist to serve the common good. The common good is fostered and conserved by the pursuit of truth and its exposition. The pursuit of truth and its exposition flourish only in an atmosphere of freedom and tolerance of differing opinions.
Illinois Valley Community College faculty, staff, and administrators are entitled to freedom of research in their discipline and to the publication of the results of that research.
Illinois Valley Community College faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom to discuss their subject. This freedom includes the advocacy of the faculty member’s point of view, as well as the presentation of representative views within the discipline.
Illinois Valley Community College faculty, administration, and staff are entitled to freedom in the conduct of extramural and co-curricular activities, with the freedom of the imagination deserving to be cherished as much as the freedom to gather, assess, and disseminate putative facts about the world.
Illinois Valley Community College faculty, administration, and staff should be free as citizens, as officers of educational institutions, and as members of learned professions from institutional censorship.
Illinois Valley Community College faculty members should avoid bringing into their classrooms the teaching of controversial matter that is not germane to their discipline.
Illinois Valley Community College faculty, staff, and administration should show respect for the autonomy of others, make a sincere effort to be accurate, and make it clear when they speak for themselves and not for the institution.
Rationale for Tenure:
The proper function of tenure is to preserve, defend, and promote academic freedom. Any faculty member threatened with the loss of his or her job merely for espousing unpopular or innovative views cannot effectively engage in the kind of open debate and rational criticism essential for the promotion of the common good in a free society. This right of tenure, however, in no way should be construed as encouraging or tolerating unprofessional, illegal, or immoral conduct.