Faculty Handbook

22. Faculty Rights

In the solution of difficult problems, all members of the academic community must take note of their responsibility to society, the institution, and to each other. In reconciling conflicting interests, the following shall not be tolerated:

1) Physical force, 

2) Harassment of any kind, 

3) Any and all disruptive acts that interfere with ordinary institutional activities. Academic Freedom The College holds to the principle that institutions of higher education are committed to open and rational discussion as a principal means for the clarification of issues and the resolution of problems. The search for truth can best be advanced when responsible and sensitive individuals operate in an atmosphere of freedom. All members of the academic community should be free to pursue their rightful goals, speak openly, be heard, study, instruct, administer, and conduct research. Academic freedom, however, should be distinguished clearly from constitutional freedom, the latter being freedom which all citizens enjoy equally under the law. Academic freedom is an additional assurance, to those who teach and pursue knowledge, of rights of expression regarding teaching and research within specific areas of recognized professional competencies. 

Academic Freedom in the Classroom 

Faculty are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing a subject. Controversial material shall be taught objectively, and the teacher shall not introduce controversial material having no relation to the subject.

Academic Freedom for Librarians All full-time professional librarians are granted academic freedom. As an academic institution with a goal of developing critical thinking in the search for truth, professional librarians, like faculty, are obligated to make available to the students, books, and materials representing various viewpoints on particular subjects or propositions. Therefore, professional librarians are free from fear of dismissal or reprisal for carrying out the following job-related tasks:

1) The selection of publications, including determination of what to discard from an existing collection and what to accept or refuse from donors. 

2) The determination of restrictions on circulation or on access with regard to library materials. 

3) The determination of the degree of prominence in the shelving of selected library materials. 

4) The issuing of bibliographies that might include controversial publications. 

5) The advising of students as to their reading selections. Classroom Rights Classroom Deportment A Faculty is responsible for maintaining an orderly environment conducive to learning, it is therefore the Faculty’s right to dismiss, for that class period, any student whose dress or behavior is seriously interfering with the instruction of the course. 

Academic Misconduct The College maintains a policy concerning student academic misconduct, (See Appendices) which includes cheating, plagiarism, giving or receiving help on an examination or paper when it is expressly forbidden by the instructor, and any other practices which demonstrate a lack of academic integrity. It is the responsibility of the instructor to take necessary precautions to prevent the unauthorized circulation of examination materials and to exercise reasonable watchfulness to prevent cheating on examinations. 

Faculty who encounter instances of academic misconduct and students so accused must follow the procedures as outlined in See Appendices. A student found guilty of academic misconduct will be subject to academic sanctions ranging from failure in the course or assignment to dismissal from the College in cases of repeated and/or flagrant violations. Records of academic misconduct cases will be kept in a confidential file in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Academic Misconduct Policy (See Appendices). 

Audio/Video Recorders in the Classroom Because indiscriminate or unauthorized use of audio/video recorders, including the recording functions of cell phones, can be an infringement on the property rights of the teacher's classroom materials and a restriction on the freedom of expression of both students and teachers, the use of audio/video recording devices in the classroom by students without authorization from the teacher is prohibited. In addition, the participation of individual students in a class should not be included in a recording, without their permission. Recordings shall be used only for the student’s private study and information from those recordings will not be made available to persons not enrolled in the course. 

Visitation in Classes 

Fellow faculty, administrators, prospective students, or other individuals who are not enrolled in the faculty’s course who wish to visit one or more classes for the purpose of their own edification or in order to make an authorized evaluation of the Faculty will make arrangements with the instructor to attend class before the beginning of the class session. The instructor may refuse admission to his/her class to anyone not enrolled in the class, other than a college administrator or faculty conducting an official evaluation

Grievances and Complaints

A grievance is defined as an alleged misapplication, misinterpretation, or violation of any provision in this handbook.

Grievances are heard by the Faculty Senate. A faculty can file a grievance by submitting, in writing, to the head of the Faculty Senate a petition for review. Petitions with sufficient merit will be reviewed by the Faculty Senate which, will make a recommendation to the President.

When the president is named as a subject in a grievance case, the Faculty Senate shall transmit its summary and recommendations to the Board of Trustees whose actions shall be final. All grievance proceedings of the Faculty Senate will be closed and confidential.

Any other concern not meeting the definition of a grievance shall be treated as a complaint. Complaints should be submitted, in writing, to any member of the Faculty Senate for inclusion on the agenda of the next scheduled meeting. Such complaints will be brought to the floor and discussed and an appropriate course of action determined. The complaining party will be informed as to the action taken by the Faculty Senate.