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Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is the cornerstone of a university. At the University of Minnesota, as elsewhere, it means the freedom to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression, and to speak or write on matters of public concern.

Academic freedom includes the freedom to discuss all matters relevant to a course and may include presentation and/or discussion of diverse viewpoints on controversial matters. Students are responsible for learning the content of any course in which they enroll, and the learning process may include discussion about and reflection on varying points of view.

Along with this freedom comes the responsibility to exercise academic freedom respectfully and to show consideration for the academic freedom of others. Students and instructors should expect their views to be challenged and everyone—students and instructors alike—has the obligation to be respectful, fair, and civil to others in discussing divergent points of view. Academic freedom and academic responsibility are taken seriously at the University of Minnesota. Students are encouraged to contact the instructor, the department chair, their adviser, or the campus student-conflict resolution office or center if they have questions or concerns.

Source: Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure

Academic freedom and responsibility is guided by University of Minnesota Board of Regents Policy.

Instructor with students.