Academic Freedom and Electronic Communication

Resolution Number
Janice Tomson
Assigned to
Technology Committee
Professional Standards

Whereas, Many districts have implemented computer use policies which give faculty no expectation of privacy and are requiring users of their internet to acknowledge and agree to these policies in order to gain access;

Whereas, Districts assert that they have the legal right to monitor and survey electronic communications, but many colleges and universities outside the California Community College system have committed to the concept of privacy to the greatest extent possible at a public educational institution; and

Whereas, The freedom of inquiry and expression mandates a climate in which ideas may be freely presented, examined, and discussed, and in our roles as educators faculty should have a reasonable expectation of privacy in and protection of their communications, whether those communications take verbal, written, or electronic form;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges review and update its 1999 paper on Academic Freedom, Privacy, Copyright and Fair Use in a Technological World to reflect current court decisions and American Association of University Professors (AAUP) language on academic freedom to give support to local senates drafting or revising computer use policies and regulations; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges draft a response that local senates can reference when their districts state that computer users have no expectation of privacy in the use of the district’s computers, networks, telecommunications, and educational technology resources.

MSC Disposition: Local Senates