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Negotiations: Article 5, Academic Freedom and Professional Responsibilities

Wright State University Chapter

American Association of University Professors

AAUP-WSU has proposed the article below for inclusion in the first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for non-tenure-eligible (NTE) faculty. Our negotiating team handed it to the administration at the initial negotiating session on March 11, 2013. Reports about the status of this article will be found below the article itself.

See our CBA Negotiations page for a roster of the AAUP-WSU negotiating team, brief reports about each Monday's negotiation session, and an article-by-article summary table with links to detailed information about each individual article that either the administration or AAUP-WSU proposes to include in the CBA.

Article 5

Academic Freedom and Professional Responsibilities

5.1 Academic Freedom:

5.1.1 Academic freedom is essential for the proper development of the University. It functions to protect the institution from unwarranted interference by external groups and to ensure the retention of the services of those whose contributions toward its goals make them an essential part of the faculty. In so doing, it secures the autonomy and integrity of the University and makes its development as an intellectual community an object of primary concern.

5.1.2 Academic freedom is the unqualified right of every Member of the Bargaining Unit, whether or not that person possesses tenure. It carries a reciprocal obligation to respect and maintain the academic freedom of every other member of the University community.

5.1.3  Academic freedom is the freedom to teach, both in and outside the classroom; to conduct research and to publish, display or perform the results of those investigations; and to address any matter of institutional policy or action whether or not as a member of an agency of institutional governance. Professors should also have the freedom to address the larger community with regard to any matter of social, political, economic, or other interest, without institutional discipline, save in response to fundamental violations of professional ethics, statements that suggest disciplinary incompetence, or violations of the professional responsibilities set forth in Sections 5.2.1 through 5.2.4.

5.1.4 Bargaining Unit Faculty are entitled to freedom to teach, profess and discuss material in the classroom subject to limits detailed below.

5.2 Professional Responsibilities:

5.2.1 Members of the NTE Bargaining Unit, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, shall recognize that academic responsibility implies faithful performance of professional duties and obligations.  Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and state the truth as they see it. To this end Members shall devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They have an obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They shall practice intellectual honesty. Although Members may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.

5.2.2 As teachers, NTE Bargaining Unit Faculty shall encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They shall hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. NTE Bargaining Unit Faculty shall demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. NTE Members of the Bargaining Unit shall make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit. They shall avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They shall acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from students.

5.2.3 As colleagues, NTE Bargaining Unit Faculty have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. NTE Members of the Bargaining Unit shall not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They shall respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas Members shall show due respect for the opinions of others. NTE Bargaining Unit Faculty shall acknowledge academic debts and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues.

5.2.4 In making public statements–including the exercise of the right to responsible dissent on matters of institutional policy or educational philosophy–NTE Members of the Bargaining Unit have an obligation to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraint, to show respect of the opinions of others, and to make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the University.

Status of Negotiations about the Above Article

April 22, 2013

The parties' Chief Negotiators initialed initialed -- "TA'd" -- this article, thus signifying tentative agreement on this article. Here is a pdf file showing the TA'd article.

April 1, 2013

The administration submitted a counterproposal in which it struck the phrase "whether or not that person possesses tenure" from section 5.1.2, and changing "Professors" in 5.1.4 to "Members of the Bargaining Unit".

March 11, 2011

Our negotiating team stated that our proposal (adapted from the existing CBA for tenure-eligible and tenured (TET) faculty) changed the various references to the NTE Bargaining Unit. The administration noted that the term Professors in Section 5.1.3 should probably be changed.

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This page was last modified on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. Corrections, comments, and suggestions are most welcome. Contact the webmaster for this page (Jim Vance) at, telephone 937-775-2206. To contact the chapter, please see our Staff, Officers, and Committees page.