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Academic Freedom

Title 5 Section 51023;
Accreditation Standard II.A.7

The instructional program at Palomar College shall be conducted in accordance with principles of academic freedom of inquiry. The educational program must encourage freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry within the framework of responsibility.

Palomar College considers academic freedom, defined by its attendant rights and responsibilities, as a vital, primary force in the achievement of the aims and objectives of the institution. Academic freedom involves inherently the following rights and responsibilities:

To research to the limit of competence and training, the assigned teaching area and its references
To survey, probe, and question the relationship of humans to their environment within the guidelines of research techniques and intelligent discussion
To question and challenge, without fear of censorship or discipline, those actions originating from within the institution which seriously affect the total academic environment
To introduce, within the assigned teaching area, controversial concepts, issues, and systems, subjecting these ideas to the test of objective reasoning
To create an unhampered and clear intellectual atmosphere democratically maintained, encouraged, and supported by students, staff, administration, and members of the Governing Board
To associate with those individuals or groups of one's choice without fear of censorship or discipline, unless such association is forbidden by law

At no time will the inherent right of staff to use any of the normal channels of campus communication be abridged, nor will individual staff members be singled out for special prior censorship of their use of such channels of communication. It is understood that staff members exercising this right will accept responsibility for both the substance and the manner of their messages.

The college or university teacher is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational institution. When he/she speaks or writes as a citizen, he/she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but his/her special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, he/she should remember that the public may judge his/her profession and institution by his/her utterances. Therefore, he/she should at all times be accurate, show respect for the opinions of others, and make every effort to indicate that he/she is not an institutional spokesperson.

Palomar College encourages freedom of expression and the free flow and exchange of information and ideas. The College seeks to protect academic freedom and supports free and unfettered scholarly inquiry. In compliance with these requirements, the College encourages faculty, staff, and student involvement with others in support of candidates for offices or in the furtherance of other political activities.

BP 4030 -  Academic Freedom
June 2009