E02.0 Principles of Academic Freedom

Scope: This policy applies to all members of the RIT faculty.

Policy Statement

RIT is guided by the principles of academic freedom as articulated in the American Association of University Professor’s “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure with the 1970 Interpretive Comments.”.  These principles are in part quoted below.

“When [faculty] speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations.  As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances.  Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.”

All members of the faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology are entitled to full freedom in their teaching, in studies and research, and in the publication of the results of their studies or research.  Likewise, they are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects and material relating directly to them.  However, they shall not regularly introduce into their teaching contro­versial material which has no relation to their subjects.  Likewise, it is expected that the aforementioned teaching will be aimed toward achieving the educational objectives agreed upon by the faculty, administration and board of trustees.  Independent study and research is encouraged for members of the faculty subject to the proper performance of their other responsibilities to the University.

Responsible Offices:
Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Inquiries can be directed to:

Faculty Senate:
Faculty Senate Office
2106 Eastman Hall

Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs:
Assistant Vice President
2109 Eastman Hall

Effective Date:
Approved September 23, 1963

Policy History:
Revised October 21, 2010
Reviewed and Affirmed by Faculty Senate - February 23, 2017