Policy 3.4.6 - Academic Freedom

The College recognizes the necessity for freedom in legitimate academic decisions that foster an environment where faculty and students can freely inquire, study and evaluate in order to gain greater understanding. To that end, the College endeavors to give faculty members the freedom to conduct individual academic affairs in accordance with each person’s best judgment.

A. Faculty members will conduct themselves within the boundaries of the law as established by the North Carolina General Statutes and the State Board Code of Community Colleges.

B. Faculty members shall use their best judgment as to appropriate material in developing and implementing course material. Faculty members shall refrain from introducing controversial materials and subject matters that have no bearing or academic relationship to that particular class or subject matter. Faculty members shall encourage students to do likewise.

C. In the academic setting, faculty members shall refrain from insisting upon the adoption of any particular point of view as authoritative in controversial issues. Engaging in personal attacks during any discussion should be avoided by faculty members and students.

D. Faculty members shall use their best judgment in conducting classes and in interactions with other members of the College community.

E. Faculty members shall keep abreast of the main academic trends and themes in their respective fields and incorporate these into their scholarship and teaching.

F. Faculty members shall organize their subject matter and present it in ways that present the optimum value for their students, subject to reasonable guidelines reflected in College, departmental and faculty policies and procedures. Faculty members shall also require an amount and quality of work from their students which, under the College’s standards, justify the course.

Any questions or issues concerning the parameters of academic freedom at this College should be addressed to the appropriate Vice President. In the event the faculty member cannot reach an informal resolution, s/he may file a grievance pursuant to Policy 3.3.8 – Grievance.

This Policy is not intended to limit the rights of faculty or students in discussing any matter outside of the academic setting. However, no College employee or student shall purport to speak on behalf of the College unless specifically authorized to do so by an authorized College official.

Adopted: June 12, 2019