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Academic Freedom and Responsibilities

Shepherd University supports the principles of academic freedom as espoused by the American Association of University Professors.

In accordance with the Board of Governors Policy 19, the University adopts the following tenets regarding academic freedom.

Academic freedom at West Virginia state colleges is necessary to enable the institutions to perform their societal obligation as established by the Legislature. The

Shepherd University Board of Governors recognizes that the vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms is nowhere more vital than in the universities under its jurisdiction. Faculty members and students must always remain free to inquire, study, and evaluate.

Through the exercise of academic freedom, members of the academic community freely study, discuss, investigate, teach, conduct research, and publish, depending upon their particular role at the institution. To all of those members of the academic community who enjoy academic freedom, there are, commensurate with such freedom, certain responsibilities.  All faculty members shall be entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results of such research.  Further, each faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject taught.  In addition, when faculty members speak or write as a citizen outside the college or university, they shall be free from institutional censorship or discipline.

The concept of academic freedom is accompanied by an equally important concept of academic responsibility. The faculty member at Shepherd University is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and a representative of an educational institution.  As such, a faculty member, together with all other members of the academic community, has the responsibility for protecting, defending, and promoting individual academic freedom for all members of the community.  The faculty member is responsible also as a teacher for striving to speak with accuracy and with respect for the similar rights and responsibilities of others. In speaking only as an individual or for a limited group, the faculty member should not imply or claim to be a spokesperson for the institution.