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Academic Freedom: Policies

Academic Freedom Policies

The best strategy for locating policies of various universities is to search either the website of a particular school or a general internet search for the phrase "academic freedom" (with quotation marks) and the word policy or policies.   These concepts are often articulated in a variety of documents across universities so, a broad search is a good place to start. 

Statements from Other Entities

American Association of University Professors (AAIP)

e AAUP definition of academic freedom includes:


"Academic freedom is the indispensable requisite for unfettered teaching and research in institutions of higher education. As the academic community's core policy document states, "institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition"


Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Resource Manual for the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement,

Standard 6.4 “the institution publishes and implements appropriate policies and procedures for preserving and protecting academic freedom,” which contains the language, “Academic freedom respects the dignity and rights of others while fostering intellectual freedom of faculty to teach, research, and publish…”


Texas State University Statements


Policy Excerpts & Statements


AA/PPS No. 02.03.01 (4.01), "Conduct and Planning of Courses” (effective 8/06/2018)


Section 02.02: “The Faculty Handbook affirms that faculty members enjoy full academic freedom, including the right to freely discuss the subject matter of their area of specialization, as well as academic responsibilities…”


section 02.07:  “Numerous offices offer resources to faculty members for planning and conducting their courses. They include, but are not limited to, Alkek Library, Instructional Technologies Support, Technology Resources, the Writing Center, the Office of Disability Services, the Testing, Evaluation and Measurement Center, the Office of Distance and Extended Learning, the Study Abroad Office, and the Office of Faculty Development.”


AA/PPS No. 02.03.01 references the Faculty Handbook:


Faculty Handbook


p. 14: “Faculty members at Texas State University enjoy full academic freedom, including the following rights:

1. to conduct research freely and to publish the results;

2. to discuss freely the subject matter of their area of specialization in the classroom;

3. to speak, write, or act freely as private citizens in community, state, and national affairs;

4. to have full due process (as later defined) if the University should seek to terminate their employment. This applies to tenured and untenured faculty if the University should seek to terminate their employment before the end of the contract period.


p. 16: “In non-reappointment of non-tenured faculty or denying promotion to faculty, administrative officers need not give reasons; however, they may not deny reappointment to non-tenured faculty members or deny promotion to faculty members for exercising their academic freedom or rights guaranteed by the laws or constitution of the state of Texas or the United States. If non-tenured faculty members believe that they have been given non-reappointment notices or contracts or were denied promotion for illegal reasons, they may submit to the President of Texas State their written allegations that the decision not to reappoint or to deny promotion constitutes a violation of a right guaranteed by the laws or constitution of the state of Texas or the United States.”




Faculty Senate's Academic Freedom Committee

“The Texas State University Faculty Senate affirms that shared governance, academic freedom, and high standards for professional excellence are the hallmarks of higher education. The well-being and strength of a university and a democratic society depend on free inquiry and expression. Academic freedom without undue restraint is the professional right of faculty members and is an indispensable condition for faculty to carry out their responsibilities of teaching, research and creative work, and service to the institution and the community. Academic freedom further protects faculty members when they participate in the governance of their institutions or speak out on matters of educational policy, particularly when opposing the views of their administrators. The right of due process is an integral component of these principles.”



Texas State’s Academic Freedom Committee references the American Association of University Professors (see AAUP statement in box on left)