BP 4-4: Academic Freedom


APPROVED: August 26, 2014

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 26, 2014

REFERENCES: Sweezy v. New Hampshire 354 U.S. 234 (1957); Garcetti et al. v. Ceballos 547 U.S. 410 (2006); Master Agreement between Dawson Community College Board of Trustees and Glendive Federation of Teachers Article 3; 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and Association of American Colleges (AAC)


The Board of Trustees is committed to protecting the College’s essential freedoms to determine for itself on academic grounds who may teach, what may be taught, how it shall be taught, and who may be admitted to study (Sweezy v. New Hampshire, 1957).  In exercising these freedoms, the College recognizes that its purpose is to serve the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole, and that the common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition (AAUP & AAC, 1940).

The College recognizes and protects under the law full freedom of inquiry, teaching, research, discussion, study, publication, and creation and exhibition of works of art, without hindrance, restriction, equivocation, and/or Board or Administration reprisal.

In the exercise of this freedom, a member of the faculty is free to discuss his/her subject in the classroom.  The faculty member may not claim as a right the privilege of discussing personal viewpoints that are unrelated to the subject of the class.  When a College employee makes statements pursuant to his or her official duties, the employee is not speaking as a citizen for First Amendment purposes or as a scholar for academic purposes, therefore the employee should ensure the administration approves the content of official statements (Garcetti et al. v. Ceballos, 2006).  In a public forum, a faculty member has the same freedoms as other citizens.  However, in community utterances as a private citizen, the faculty member has an obligation to indicate that he/she is not a College spokesperson.

Faculty members are entitled to academic freedom in the selection of textbooks, audio-visual and other teaching aids.  This policy applies to College library collections and resources.

SCOPE: This policy applies to Dawson Community College Board of Trustees

PROCEDURES: The President shall promulgate procedures to implement this policy.