USFA e-letter: You Have Academic Freedom

Despite statements made by senior academic administrators that transparency will be a hallmark of U of S Administration’s approach to address the projected $44.5 million deficit and their invitations to be involved, some USFA members are reporting attempts to stifle discussion through backlash directed at those who pose questions or offer their perspectives on the process.

In the view of the USFA this is a direct attack on the academic freedom of our members.

Academic Freedom is a specific provision in the Collective Agreement and can be found in Article 6. It states that all USFA members, “whether tenured or not and regardless of prescribed doctrine, are entitled to the exercise of their rights as citizens and to freedom in carrying out research and in publishing its results, freedom of discussion, freedom to teach the subject assigned in classes, freedom to criticize the University and the Association without suffering censorship or discipline.”

In the current TransformUS environment, now more than ever, those involved in delivering academic programs need to pose questions and offer their perspectives in order for informed decisions to be made. There needs to be freedom of discussion and the ability to offer dissenting opinions and criticisms. Without it, there is no “US” in the transformation.

The USFA Executive is committed to upholding the rights of members to exercise their academic freedom.