A. Academic Freedom, Professional Ethics and Tenure
Ohio University subscribes fully to the 1940 Statement of Principles of the American Association of University Professors regarding academic freedom and regarding tenure except as altered below in Section II.D.2.a.
Section II.D.2.a is consistent with the statement adopted by the American Association of University Professors in June, 1978.
1. Statement of Principles-American Association of University Professors
The purpose of this statement is to promote public understanding and support of academic freedom and tenure, and agreement upon procedures to assure them in colleges and universities. 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. It carries with it duties correlative with rights.
Tenure is a means to certain ends; specifically:
freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities and
a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability.
Freedom and economic security, hence tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society.
Faculty, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. This primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end, they devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. Faculty members should practice intellectual honesty. Although they may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.
As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals, and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and advisors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct, and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student's true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect the academic freedom of their students.
As colleagues, faculty have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Faculty do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas, professors show due respect for the opinions of others. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.
As members of an academic institution, professors seek, above all, to be effective teachers and scholars. Although professors observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Professors give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institutions in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, professors recognize the effect of their decision upon the institution, and give due notice of their intentions.
As members of their community, professors have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Professors measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.
3. Academic Freedom
The teacher is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of his/her other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
All teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should avoid persistently intruding material which has no relation to their subject.
College or university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they 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 men or women and as 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 institutional spokespersons.
4. Academic Tenure
After the expiration of a probationary period, teachers or investigators should have permanent or continuous tenure, and their service should be terminated only for adequate cause, except in the cases of retirement for age, or under extraordinary circumstances because of financial exigencies. In the interpretation of this principle, it is understood that the following represents acceptable academic practice:
The precise terms and conditions of every appointment should be stated in writing, and be in the possession of both institution and teacher before the appointment is consummated.
Beginning with appointment to the rank of full-time instructor or a higher rank, the probationary period shall not exceed seven years, except as qualified in II.D.2.e. Notice shall be given at least one year prior to the expiration of the probationary period if the faculty member is not to be continues in service after the expiration of that period.
During the probationary period, a teacher should have the academic freedom that all other members of the faculty have.
Termination for cause of a continuous appointment, or the dismissal for cause of a teacher previous to the expiration of a term appointment should, if possible, be considered by both a faculty committee and the governing board of the institution. In all cases where the facts are in dispute, accused teachers should be informed before the hearing in writing of the charges against them and should have the opportunity to be heard in their own defense by all bodies that pass judgment upon their case. They should be permitted to have with them an advisor of their own choosing who may act as counsel. There should be a full stenographic record of the hearing available to the parties concerned. In the hearing of charges of incompetence, the testimony should include that of teachers and other scholars, either from their own or from other institutions. Teachers on continuous appointment who are dismissed for reasons not involving moral turpitude should receive their salaries for at least a year from the date of notification of dismissal whether or not they are continued in their duties at the institution.
Termination of a continuous appointment because of financial exigency should be demonstrably bona fide.
The college or university faculty member is a citizen and, like other citizens, should be free to engage in political activities so far as he/she is able to do so consistently with his/her obligations as a teacher and scholar.
Many kinds of political activity (e.g., holding part-time office in a political party, seeking election to any office under circumstances that do not require extensive campaigning, or serving by appointment or election in a part-time political office) are consistent with effective service as a member of a faculty. Other kinds of political activity (e.g., intensive campaigning for elective office, serving in a state legislature, or serving a limited term in a full-time position) may require that the professor seek a leave of absence from his/her college or university.
In recognition of the legitimacy and social importance of political activity by faculty members, universities and colleges should provide institutional arrangements to permit it, similar to those applicable to other public or private extramural service. Such arrangements may include the reduction of the faculty member's workload, or a leave of absence for the duration of an election campaign or a term of office, accompanied by equitable adjustment of compensation when necessary.
Faculty members seeking leave should recognize that they have a primary obligation to their institution and to their growth as educators and scholars; they should be mindful of the problem that a leave of absence can create for their administration, their colleagues, and their students; and they should not abuse the privilege by too frequent or too late application or too extended a leave. If adjustments in their favor are made, such as a reduction of workload, they should expect them to be limited to a reasonable period.
A leave of absence incident to political activity should come under the institution's normal rules and regulations for leaves of absence. Such a leave should not affect unfavorably the tenure status of a faculty member, except that time spent on such leave from academic duties need not count as probationary service. The terms of a leave and its effect on the professor's status should be set forth in writing.
C. Policy on News Releases and Press Conferences
To maintain good media relations and to use most efficiently the time of faculty and staff, interviews with the press concerning matters of official policy of the University should, whenever possible, be channeled through the Director of University News Services. However, it is appropriate to respond directly under the following circumstances:
The President will respond for Ohio University on all general University matters and all policy matters unless he/she specifically assigns this responsibility to a senior officer. On other matters pertaining to a senior officer's administrative area, that senior officer will respond unless he/she specifically assigns this responsibility to a person in his/her area. These responses may be prepared by University News Services, but only at the direction of the President or the senior officer whose administrative area is involved, and they will not be released until after the statement has been approved by him/her. The Director of University News Services should be informed of interviews and given copies of the statements made if University News Services did not take part in preparing them.
Faculty or staff approached as the result of personal accomplishments or their knowledge in a specialized field may respond directly.
Responses to reporters from the student newspaper or to newspersons from the University radio or television station may be made without formal clearance through University News Services.
Certain routine announcements—e.g., concerning scheduling of University events—may be made directly to the news media. At the time of a University emergency, all official statements or announcements relating to that emergency will be made by the President of Ohio University or his/her designated representative through University News Services. All official interviews relating to the emergency will be held with the President or with a person designated by him/her and will be coordinated by University News Services.
Nothing in the above policy statement is intended to abridge:
individual citizenship rights of the faculty and staff to express personal opinions or offer personal commentary on any subject they choose, although they should use caution in differentiating such personal free speech from official statements;
the rights of various leaders and members of groups within the University to speak freely on behalf of their organizations; or
the rights of the press to seek, energetically, all matters of public interest in a public university.
D. Policy on Faculty Academic Files
Faculty academic files are defined as those files containing both academic and administrative records of a faculty member. They are initiated prior to employment, and currently maintained throughout the employment period of the named faculty member. Such files or partial duplicates thereof may be kept in the office of the Provost, the office of the Vice President for Regional Higher Education, offices of the deans of the colleges, offices of the deans of the regional campuses, offices of chairpersons of departments, and offices of directors of schools, and are under the custodianship of administrative officers supervising said offices. For the purposes of this document, all faculty academic files referred to above are considered in the same category.
Faculty files are considered public records, and, as such, are subject to the public records statutes of the State of Ohio. With very few restrictions, these statutes currently require that public records be open to inspection by any member of the general public. Access to medical records or certain classes of legal records, should there be any in the file, is not permitted. But access to letters of reference, even if solicited under a promise of confidentiality, is not restricted under public records statutes of the State of Ohio.
Except in the case of faculty members reviewing their own files, persons seeking permission to review faculty files or other public records in the University must make the request to the Office of Legal Affairs. When faculty files are requested in this manner, the Office of Legal Affairs will make a good faith effort to inform all current faculty members whose files are included in the request. Files may not be removed from the office where they are maintained, but copies will be provided upon request and at reasonable cost. These restrictions do not apply to use of the files for official University business by authorized individuals.
Faculty members are permitted to add materials to their academic files as they wish.
When a faculty member disagrees with officials, in whose offices faculty files are maintained, concerning faculty access to material or apparent unauthorized use of faculty files, he or she may appeal to the Professional Relations Committee following the prescribed faculty grievance procedure for matters other than promotion and tenure.
1940 Statement of Principles Concerning Academic Freedom and Tenure from the AAUP Bulletin, Vol. 56 No. 3 (Autumn, 1979), pp. 323-326.
Teacher as used in this statement is understood to include the investigator without teaching duties who is attached to an academic institution.
Based on the Statement on Professional Ethics, adopted by the AAUP Council, and endorsed by the Seventy-third Annual AAUP Meeting in June 1987
Updated Fall, 2012
2012-13 Faculty Senate Meeting Schedule * Indicates an extraordinary meeting
September 10, 2012
October 8, 2012
November 5, 2012
December 10, 2012
SPRING January 14, 2013
February 11, 2013
March 11, 2013
April 8, 2013
May 6, 2013
All meetings Fall Semester are held
in Walter Hall 235 at 7:10 pm