December 17, 2004

 

 

To: Members of the University Senate

 

From: The Faculty Affairs and Student Affairs Committees

 

Re: Joint Report on Academic Freedom and Student Grievance Procedures

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The Faculty Affairs and Student Affairs committees affirm the following three points regarding academic freedom and student grievance procedures:

 

I. We hereby uphold the principles of academic freedom as amended from Part II, Section VII of the University Charter and Statutes.

 

a.  Academic freedom implies that all officers of instruction and all students are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects;

b. faculty and students are entitled to freedom of research and in the submission and publication of its results;

c. faculty may not be penalized by the University for expression of opinions or associations in their private or civic capacity;

d. and students may not be penalized by faculty or the University administration for expression of opinions or associations in their private or civic capacity.

 

II. We hereby urge administrators to sufficiently communicate and honor the following

student grievance procedures as upheld by the University:

 

a. first, if the student has a concern about a faculty member the student should directly approach the professor;

b. second, if the student feels the grievance cannot be settled directly, the student may seek the advice and or mediation of the Department or Program Chair;

c. third, if the student feels the grievance has still not been addressed, the student may request the involvement of the Dean or, in the case of the Arts and Sciences, the Vice President for Arts and Sciences;

d. fourth, if the student still feels the grievance has not been addressed, the student may seek the advice of the University Ombuds Officer and/or the Office of Affirmative Action;

e.  finally, if the student feels the grievance is still not resolved, the student should appeal to the Provost of the University.

 

III. Finally, we hereby encourage schools that create a committee addressing student grievances to appoint both faculty members and students as voting members of such committees.