Academic Freedom: ASCCC and Local Senate Recommendations

Resolution Number
Assigned to
Relations with Local Senates Committee
Academic Senate
Proposer Contact
Julie Bruno, Sierra College

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges has long supported and defended, in concept and in practice, the principles and tenets of academic freedom and tenure by adopting numerous resolutions, including Resolution 19.05 S96 to adopt the 1940 American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom, Resolution 19.01 S98 to adopt the paper Academic Freedom and Tenure: A Faculty Perspective, and Resolution 13.03 F10 to adopt additional academic freedom policy recommendations in light of the US Supreme Court decision in Garcetti v. Caballos;

Whereas, According to the AAUP 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom,  “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. Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of the student to freedom in learning,” and thus, academic freedom ensures the institution is worthy of the public trust and is acting in the best interest of the students, the community, and society;

Whereas, Since the publication of Academic Freedom and Tenure: A Faculty

Perspective, policies by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, legislation, and programs such as California Community Colleges Guided Pathways and the California College Promise have significantly impacted the California Community Colleges by mandating changes to the funding formula and to assessment and placement of students; and

Whereas, The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges requires local governing boards to have policies on academic freedom and responsibility, but few faculty leaders have negotiated these policies into their union contracts to provide additional protection for all faculty, both full-time and part-time;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, to provide guidance to local academic senates and faculty on safeguarding academic freedom rights and responsibilities in the current political environment, update the 1998 paper Academic Freedom and Tenure: A Faculty Perspective by spring of 2020;and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges urge local senates to help ensure the protection of academic freedom for faculty, both full-time and part-time, and for their institutions by working with their union leaders to incorporate academic freedom policies and grievance procedures into their district contracts.