Academic Freedom

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The principles of academic freedom are parallel to those in the First Amendment. Academic freedom promotes the freedom of thought and expression specifically in the context of teaching and research. However, academic freedom at a private institution like CMC is not a constitutional guarantee; rather, it is defined by and guaranteed to faculty members, students, and staff through a combination of institutional commitments, policies, shared norms, and deep-seated practices.

CMC is committed to academic freedom in its paramount importance to higher education.

The Faculty Handbook Section 4.1 contains the Faculty’s Statement on Academic Freedom. The Faculty Handbook is the document which sets forth CMC faculty members' rights, responsibilities, and duties. The Handbook explains that “academic freedom includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the rights to engage in free inquiry and exchange of ideas, to present controversial material relevant to a course of instruction, to publish or disseminate controversial material or information, and to perform research in controversial areas. Members of the faculty are citizens, members of a learned profession, and stewards of this educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline. As scholars, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances.”

This portion of the Handbook is based in part on the American Association of University Professors’ highly regarded “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.”

In further confirmation of these principles, both the faculty and the Board of Trustees have adopted the University of Chicago’s Statement on Academic Freedom.

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