The Academic Freedom Committee studies and reports to the Division concerning any conditions within or without the University which, in its judgment, may affect the academic freedom. Academic freedom is freedom from duress or sanction aimed at suppressing the intellectual independence, free investigation, and unfettered communication by the academic community - faculty, librarians, students, and guests (see: UCLA Statement on Academic Freedom). The official policy of the University of California on academic freedom is spelled out in University of California Regulation No. 5 as approved by President Sproul (15 June 1944) and incorporated in the Academic Personnel Manual as APM-010. The Committee maintains liaison with the University Committee on Academic Freedom.
Issues - The Committee proactively identifies issues that threaten academic freedom and deals with specific issues that may be brought to the Committee as they arise. Either faculty members or the administration may bring issues to the Committee. The Committee has been asked by the administration to comment on a variety of issues (e.g., faculty disciplinary procedures, copyright policies, electronic mail policy, and faculty incompetence) to insure continued protection of academic freedom. Issues brought before the Committee by faculty include attacks on the academic freedom to teach a course, as he/she perceived it, the sale of lecture notes on the web, and student evaluations. Issues can be submitted to the Committee by any faculty or student (addressed to John Leary: Committee on Academic Freedom, 3125 Murphy Hall, 140801 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Goals - The Committee's responsibility is to be alert to threats and potential threats to academic freedom and to articulate those threats to the academic community in a sufficiently timely fashion so that the community may have the opportunity to react. The Committee's services are available to those who seek its advice and protection.
Membership Composition - The Committee has seven faculty members appointed by the Committee on Committees and confirmed by the Legislative Assembly for up to 3 years. Four student representatives: 2 graduate and 2 undergraduate. Committee on Committees appoints, and Legislative Assembly confirms the Chair.
In general the Committee should have a lawyer and one assistant professor on the Committee. The workload for the assistant professor should not be a problem.
Meetings - The Academic Freedom Committee meets quarterly and schedules additional meetings as business dictates.
Interactions with Administration - Meets as needed with administrators. There is no established interaction pattern with any administrator.
Committee Service: If you are an Academic Senate member and have an interest in serving on this, or any other Academic Senate committee, please take a moment to indicate your preferences for service on our Committee Volunteer Form.
By actively participating in Senate Committees, we ensure that academic and administrative decisions are informed and enriched by broad faculty input. Thank you for your interest in shared Faculty Governance.