Policies

Academic Freedom Policy

Approved By and Date:Board of Trustees04-08-2010
 Executive Leadership Team01-01-1970
 ICORE01-01-1970

SCC is dedicated to the exchange of ideas, the development of skills, and to the nurture of those personal and intellectual habits and attitudes which are necessary in a free, open, and democratic society.

The College Board of Trustees endorses the pursuit of academic freedom. The right of an instructor to present facts relative to controversial issues is therefore guaranteed as long as different views of the issue are allowed. A free and open discussion of all points of view will help avoid indoctrination and will foster an atmosphere conducive to learning.

The exercise of academic freedom also requires the exercise of reasonable judgment.

Academic Freedom Procedures

Approved By and Date:Executive Leadership Team03-14-2022
 ICORE03-09-2022

Academic Freedom Procedures

  1. It is the faculty member’s responsibility to present material objectively. Within a course, discussions and assignments should relate to the material designated by the course outline. Supplementary learning resources must be directly related to the course as a whole.

  2. Each employee has the right to perform research and to publish the results of this research. This right is subject to restraint only if it imposes upon the first priority of each employee at the College, which is to maintain excellence in job performance.

  3. As a citizen of the community, each employee is free from institutional censorship and discipline in the exercise of the freedom to speak and write as a private citizen. The employee must recognize that as an employee of Stanly Community College, the public may assume that one speaks for the College; therefore, each employee is responsible for alerting the public that he/she is not serving as a college spokesperson.

  4. Further, Stanly Community College provides books and other learning resources which reflect the needs of its educational programs and includes materials with all points of view for the information, interest and enlightenment of the community the Learning Resource Center serves. Materials are selected using the best knowledge and criteria of the staff members of the College.

  5. Employees who feel that Academic Freedom violations have occurred should seek resolution of the complaint through the following procedures:

    • The employee will submit a written complaint to the appropriate division head over the academic area within five (5) working days of the alleged incident. In the event that the CAO is accused of violating the employee’s academic freedom, appeal will be made to the President.

    • The division head will have five (5) working days to respond and will conduct an investigation at their discretion.

    • If the issue is not resolved to the employee’s satisfaction, the employee should forward the written complaint to the next level of supervision (e.g., Dean or Associate Vice President for the academic area) within two (2) working days.

    • The next level of supervision will have five (5) working days to respond.

    • If the issue is still not resolved to the employee’s satisfaction, the employee should forward a written notice of appeal (email sufficient) to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) within two (2) working days. The only permissible bases for an appeal to the CAO are procedural error or previously unavailable relevant evidence that significantly impacts the outcome of the case.

    • The CAO, in consultation with the President and a faculty representative designated by Faculty Senate, will have five (5) working days to respond.

    • The decision of the CAO will be final.  The employee and the potential violator will be notified in writing of the decision. 

  6. Students who feel that Academic Freedom violations have occurred should seek resolution of the complaint through the following procedures:

    • The student will submit a written complaint by completing the Student Appeal Form (include link to form) and identifying the complaint as an Academic Freedom complaint within five (5) working days of the alleged incident.

    • The Dean of Students will forward the complaint to the appropriate division head over the academic area. In the event that the CAO is accused of violating the student’s academic freedom, appeal will be made to the President.

    • The student will be assigned a counselor to serve as an advocate and to provide support during the grievance process. The student will be supplied with the counselor’s name and contact information upon submission of the grievance.

    • The division head will conduct an investigation as warranted and respond within five (5) business days.  The employee accused of violating the student’s academic freedom will have an opportunity to respond to the accusation in writing during the investigation.

    • If the issue is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the Dean of Students should forward the written complaint to the next level of supervision (Dean or Associate Vice President for the academic area) within two (2) working days.

    • The Dean or Associate Vice President will have five (5) working days to respond.

    • If the issue is still not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student will submit a written notice of appeal (email sufficient) within two (2) working days to the Dean of Students who will forward the written complaint to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) within two (2) additional working days. The only permissible bases for an appeal to the CAO are procedural error or previously unavailable relevant evidence that significantly impacts the outcome of the case.

    • The CAO will have five (5) working days to respond.

    • The decision of the CAO will be final. The student and the potential violator will be notified in writing of the decision. 

 

Revision: 02/20/2014 (procedures)