Brookhaven College

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Manual of Operational Memoranda for Brookhaven College

District Reference: AD No.V - A
Subject: Academic Freedom

The Board believes that in a world of rapid change, a college best serves its community, not as a stronghold of rigid tradition, but as an open, intellectual forum where varying viewpoints may be freely expressed and fairly debated.

  • The Board believes that a free society functions efficiently only if its citizens have a right to discuss, debate, and agree or disagree constructively.
  • The Board believes that an educated citizenry, fully aware of all the evidence, is best able to preserve the valuable heritage of American democratic institutions.
  • The Board believes that the community college has an obligation to its community and its students to promote healthy discussion as an educative force.
  • The Board desires to foster in students a respect for differing points of view, the ability to discriminate between fact and fiction, and the capacity to think intelligently.
  • The Board encourages the colleges to invite visits from outside speakers representing diverse points of view. In return, it reserves the right to impose specific conditions insuring that opportunity be provided for students to hear opposing sides of a question.
Philosophy of Open Discussion

The Dallas County Community College District, like all other institutions of higher learning, serves the common good, which depends upon an uninhibited search for truth and its open expressions. The points enumerated below constitute our position on academic freedom:

  1. Dallas County Community College District faculty members are appointed to impart to their students and to their communities the truth as they see it in their respective disciplines.
  2. Subject to legal constraints, the following are among the responsibilities which reside primarily with the faculty:
    • Preparing course syllabi and course expectations;
    • Selecting classroom films and other instructional materials and activities;
    • Evaluating learners;
    • Maintaining classroom discipline.
  3. It is essential that faculty members of the DCCCD be free to pursue scholarly inquiry and to voice and publish their conclusions without fear of institutional censorship or discipline.
  4. Dallas County Community College District faculty members are citizens and, therefore, possess the rights of citizens. These rights include, among others, the right as private citizens to speak freely outside the classroom on matters of public concern and to participate in lawful political activities.
  5. Prior restraint or sanctions will not be imposed upon DCCCD faculty members in the exercise of their rights as citizens or duties as teachers. Nor will faculty members fear reprisal for exercising their civic rights and academic freedom.
Academic Freedom Defined

The academic freedom of Dallas County Community College District faculty members is accompanied by equally compelling obligations and responsibilities to their profession, their students, their District, and their community. Faculty members must defend the rights of academic freedom while accepting willingly the responsibilities enumerated below:

  1. Faculty members will be judicious in the introduction of materials in the classroom without forfeiting the instructional benefits of controversy.
  2. No faculty member will attempt to force on students a personal viewpoint intolerant of the rights of others to hold or express diverse opinions.
  3. Faculty members must recognize their responsibility to maintain competence in their disciplines through continued professional development and to demonstrate their competence through consistently adequate preparation and performance.
  4. Faculty members must recognize that the public will judge the DCCCD and their profession by their conduct. Therefore, faculty members will make clear that the views they express are their own and should avoid creating the impression that they speak or act in behalf of the District or of their profession.
Academic Responsibility