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Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom (Faculty)

Recognizing that academic freedom is essential to the pursuit of truth in a democratic society, the District adheres to the following principles:

Faculty shall be free:

  • To examine unpopular or controversial ideas to achieve course learning objectives, in discussion with students, and in academic research or publication.
  • To recommend the selection of instructional materials.
  • To make available library books and materials presenting all points of view.

While faculty have the right to present ideas and conclusions which they believe to be in accord with available evidence, they also have the responsibility to acknowledge the existence of different opinions and to respect the right of others to hold those views. (Board Policy 6030, Title 5, Section 4030)

Academic Freedom (Students)

The Board of Trustees believes that students have the right to listen, the right to decide, the right to choose, the right to reject, the right to express and defend individual beliefs, and that the educational purpose of the District is best served by this freedom of expression. As members of an academic community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. Institutional procedures for achieving these purposes may vary from campus to campus, but the minimal standards of academic freedom of students are essential to the purposes for which community colleges exist.

Students are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled. Student performance will be evaluated on a broad academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. (Board Policy 5-8081, Education Code Section 76067, 76120)