The protections and responsibilities in the University of Minnesota Board of Regents' Academic Freedom and Responsibility policy are intended to generate a setting in which free and vigorous inquiry is embraced in the pursuit of "the advancement of learning and the search for truth," in the words emblazoned on the front of Northrop Auditorium. The combination of protections and responsibilities implies that the privilege of academic freedom is available and supported when it is ensured that all voices are heard and ideas are the focus of the conversation and debate.
All University employees are obliged to meet the responsibilities listed in the policy in order to create the culture needed to sustain and affirm the University’s commitment to academic freedom. The protections defined by the policy extend to all University employees who engage in scholarly work. The protections of academic freedom also apply to teaching and service settings.
In 2011 the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure discussions addressed current thought about these aspects of University work. These discussions, which came about because of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos and because of the controversy surrounding the release of the film Troubled Waters, led to the preparation of this White Paper. These discussions are contained in the minutes of the committee and the Senate for 2009-11.
Note: This White Paper will refer to the tenure regulations, shorthand for the Regents Policy: Faculty Tenure.
University of Minnesota: Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure.
Academic Freedom and Responsibility, 2011 White Paper as presented to the University Senate, December 2011.
University of Minnesota.
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