Academic Freedom Policy

Board Policy 4030

Board Policy 4030 (pdf)


The Board of Trustees of Glendale Community College affirms that institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual faculty member or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its exposition.

Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to all disciplines. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in all disciplines is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the faculty and the student. It carries with it duties correlative with rights, regardless of employment status.

The academic community “is a questioner, a worrier, a critic, and idealist, seeking a better way toward human aspiration and fulfillment.” Academic freedom is essential for the maintenance of excellence in education, and moreover, exists so that society may have benefits of objective and independent criticism, and honest answers to scientific, social and artistic questions that might otherwise be withheld for fear of offending and influential social group or transient social attitude. Accordingly, there shall be no adverse consequences to employment status (hiring, promotion, and retention) as a result of expressions protected by academic freedom.

Faculty members are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
Faculty are entitled to freedom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject. College faculty are members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they communicate as individuals, 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 he 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.

Faculty are entitled to due process, where applicable under the provision of the Guild contract, and where applicable under the Grievance Procedure as conducted under the provisions of Board Policy 4050.

Membership in the academic community imposes on students, faculty members, and administrators an obligation to respect the dignity of others, to acknowledge their right to express differing opinions, and to foster and defend intellectual honesty, in instruction and counseling, and expression on and off campus. In addition, faculty are responsible for but not limited to policies and procedures defined in board policy, administrative regulations, and the employment contract between the district and the Guild.

Students are entitled to an atmosphere conductive to learning and to even-handed treatment in all aspects of the faculty-students relationship.

Helpful Link: Board Policies and Administrative Regulations