Statement About Academic Freedom

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Believing that education is basically a process of searching for and teaching truth; that, as such, it cannot thrive in an atmosphere of intolerance, suspicion, or fear; and that those engaged in it should have a range of freedom commensurate with the responsibility of intelligent Christian scholarship and citizenship, the Board of Trustees and administration subscribe to the following statement of principles on academic freedom:

  1. The teacher is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of other assigned duties.
  2. The teacher is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing a subject and any material related to it, but he or she should be careful not to introduce into his or her teaching controversial material which has no relation to the subject.
  3. The teacher is a citizen and as such is entitled to the unabridged civil rights of all citizens. The teacher is a member of a learned profession and an officer of an educational institution. When speaking or writing as a citizen, he or she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline; but the special position as a faculty member and as an educated citizen in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, he or she should remember that the public may judge the profession and the institution by his or her utterances. Hence, a teacher should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, and should show respect for the opinions of others; and when speaking or writing as a citizen, the teacher should make special effort to indicate that he or she is not a spokesperson for the institution.
  4. Berry College does distinguish and appreciates that others distinguish between activities performed by the faculty as private citizens and those performed by the faculty as educational representatives of Berry College. When acting in the latter capacity, faculty are required to gain approval of their immediate administrative officials well in advance of the activity and prior to any firm commitment to outside persons or groups involved with that activity. By so doing, the faculty member will insure the institution against serious conflicts of time and interest. Following approval of his or her administrative official, the faculty member must notify the public relations office.
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