"Academic freedom is not just a nice job perk. It is the philosophical key to the whole enterprise of higher education."
- Louis Menand
It is important for the University of Colorado Boulder community to have common understandings of academic freedom—what it is, how it applies to faculty, how it applies to students, and what our rights and responsibilities are according to its tenets. Translation of these common understandings to our professional lives is critical to our ability to successfully and meaningfully engage in our scholarly and pedagogical practices. Our campus community engages in conversations about academic freedom supported by Regent Law (Article 5 and Article 7), and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.
One reason academic freedom is important is because faculty, students, and staff engage with diverse constituents who come to CU Boulder with many different social and political values and beliefs. We need to do so responsibly, inclusively, and with integrity, providing clear justifications of the ethical choice to champion the value of open exchange alongside the value of truth. Valuing freedom does not have to come at the expense of students’ and faculty’s pursuit of knowledge and truth, a—some might say the—fundamental purpose of higher education.