The Faculty Executive Committee adopted this policy in 2011 after consultation with individual faculty members.
UC Hastings is committed to the principle that the pursuit of knowledge and the free expression of ideas is at the heart of the academic mission, whether in the classroom, in the selection of clinical projects and clients, and in research, scholarship, public presentations, and contributions to public fora. This is especially true when the ideas or subjects are unpopular or controversial in society, as orthodox ideas need no protection. No person or organization outside the academic community should be permitted to determine which ideas or projects may be explored, expressed, supported or endorsed.
With the rights and privileges of academic freedom come corresponding responsibilities. All faculty and students should strive to make accurate statements and voice opinions that have been reflected upon after a sincere attempt to understand contrary views. This does not mean that any member of the academic community is responsible for representing all views on a controversial matter, only that community members should aspire to issue opinions after making a good-faith effort to appreciate why others believe differently.
In an age where public funding of universities has diminished vastly, it becomes acutely important to ensure that the influence of money not be permitted to dictate academic decisions. Private donors may, of course, give or withhold gifts as they see fit, but members of the academic community have a responsibility to exercise independent judgment on academic decisions, and it is further the responsibility of other members of the community to protect the right of fellow members to make such independent judgments.UC Hastings fully subscribes to the American Association of University Professors’ Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which can be accessed at http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/policydocs/contents/1940statement.htm
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