Legislative and Systemic Support for Academic Freedom

Fall
2020
Resolution Number: 
06.02
Contact: 
Category: 
State and Legislative Issues

Whereas, Academic Freedom is a fundamental concept, supported by faculty tenure, that exists to ensure that institutions of higher education function for the public good and assures that colleges are constructed on the foundations of genuine trust and integrity but is not codified or protected in California Education Code;

Whereas, The principles of academic freedom, as an established position of the ASCCC though Resolution 13.01.S02, are at the core of what faculty do as professionals in their classrooms and affects not only faculty and the institution but also students ,since it ensures the integrity of instruction in higher education;

Whereas, Academic Freedom is essential to the student-centered equity and anti-racism work in the California communities colleges identified in the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Call to Action and the ASCCC Mission and Strategic Plan; and

Whereas, Academic Freedom language and practices should be reviewed and updated in this time of crisis, including the expansion of online education, budget cuts, and a call to address systemic racism;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with system partners and faculty unions to advocate for inclusion of the definition, rights, and responsibilities of academic freedom into California Education Code, guard against legislative changes that erode educational freedom, and educate all stakeholders on the importance of protecting academic freedom, including the need to increase funding for tenured positions in both instructional and non-instructional faculty roles;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges work with the UC and CSU Academic Senates to incorporate into graduate education for future professors and instructors the principles and importance of academic freedom, tenure, and governance to ensure the future protection and defense of academic freedom;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges collaborate with the Student Senate for California Community Colleges to support and develop a statement regarding student academic freedom; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges provide guidance to faculty and colleges, through breakouts, articles, workshops, or papers on academic freedom in a digital age with a focus on anti-racism.

MSC