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I. Title of Policy

Academic Freedom and Responsibility

II. Objective of Policy

To provide academic freedom guidelines for faculty and staff.

III. Authority

Board of Trustees Bylaws; N.J.S. 9A:1-1.8

IV. Policy Statement

Academic Freedom is essential to the search for truth and to the free exercise of the right of expression by all members of the academic community. The College encourages a free exchange of ideas and opinions representing a broad spectrum of positions and points of view.

Academic Freedom ensures that the rights and beliefs of others are respected.

For faculty and staff, Academic Freedom provides:

  1. Freedom to determine the content and methodology of instruction and student evaluation process consistent with course, program and institutional learning outcomes congruent with the course and program descriptions;
  2. Freedom in the classroom to discuss controversial issues relating to their discipline, with an obligation to remember the extent of their influence on the opinions and values of the students;
  3. Retention of all rights as a citizen to free speech and publication. Such rights are not subject to institutional censorship or discipline;
  4. Freedom in research and publication where these activities do not interfere with the adequate performance of academic duties.

In accepting the right of Academic Freedom, faculty and staff accept these corollary responsibilities:

  1. To present material with clarity, fairness and accuracy.
  2. To avoid introducing controversial issues where such issues are not relevant to instruction.
  3. To handle controversial issues with respect for the expression of differing points of view.
  4. To distinguish between facts, and opinions.
  5. To avoid presenting personal philosophy as fact.
  6. To impart clearly to all that viewpoints expressed in an academic setting do not represent the official position of the College.

V. Responsibility for Implementation


Approved: May 1970
Revised:  Jan 2002 and Feb 2016
Lodged:   Feb 2016
Approved:  March 2016