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Policy on Academic Freedom & Responsibilities

Procedure 40-07

Policy: #8-0-101

Legal Authority: Section 59-53-20 of the 1976 Code of Laws of South Carolina, as amended

To ensure an instructional program marked by excellence, Florence-Darlington Technical College and the State Board for Technical & Comprehensive Education supports the concept of academic freedom. In the development of knowledge, research endeavors, and creative activities, faculty and students must be free to cultivate a spirit of inquiry and scholarly criticism. The faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they shall be careful not to introduce teaching matters which have no relation to their field. Faculty and students must be able to examine ideas in an atmosphere of freedom and confidence and to participate as responsible citizens in community affairs.

Florence-Darlington Technical College also recognizes that commitment to every freedom carries with it attendant responsibilities. The faculty members must fulfill their responsibilities to society and to their profession by manifesting competence, professional discretion, and good citizenship. When they speak or write as a citizen, they will be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As professional educators, they must remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and make every effort to indicate they are not speaking for the institution.

At no time shall the principles of academic freedom prevent the institution from making proper efforts to assure the best possible instruction for all students in accordance with the objectives of the institution.

Where there are conflicts or inconsistencies between this policy and the Ethics Act of 1991, the provisions of the Ethics Act will take precedence.

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