Academic Senate

 

   of

The California State University

 

 

AS-3076-12/FA (Rev)

March 15-16, 2012

Amending the Constitution of the Academic Senate, the California State University

(ASCSU) to Include Advancing Academic Freedom

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) endorse the

following amendment to Article I, Section 1. (a) of the Constitution of the Academic

Senate, the California State University (proposed amendment underlined):

It shall be the purpose of the Academic Senate of the California State University

(ASCSU) to promote academic excellence in the California State University; to

advance the principles of academic freedom and freedom of inquiry as generally

recognized in the American Association of University Professors 1940 Statement

of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure with 1970 Interpretive Comments

when faculty carry out their responsibilities; to serve as the official voice…;

          and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU, in accordance with Article VII of the Constitution of

the Academic Senate, The California State University (CSU) forward this amendment

to the individual campuses for a vote and initiate a system-wide referendum for its

ratification; and be it further

 

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the Board of Trustees, the Office of

the Chancellor, Provosts/Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, and campus Senate

Chairs.

RATIONALE:     The Preamble, The Constitution of the Academic Senate, The

California State University, specifies that the Constitution is adopted by the faculty

of the CSU “in order to exercise its rights and fulfill its responsibilities in the shared

governance of the University.” In setting forth these rights and responsibilities in

subsequent Articles, at no point does the Constitution reference the important role

of the ASCSU in safeguarding and preserving the principles of academic freedom

for the faculty it serves throughout the CSU system. The purpose of this amendment

is to remedy this serious omission in the Constitution.

 

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) 1940 Statement of

Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and its 1970 Interpretive Comments

sets forth the most widely accepted and understood statement of academic freedom

for higher education. The 1940 Statement was developed as a joint project by the

AAUP and the Association of American Colleges (now the Association of American

Colleges and Universities). In 1966 the AAUP, the American Council on Education, and

the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities jointly formulated a

Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities which was formally recognized

by the executive bodies of each group. That statement incorporates, by reference, the

1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure. In 1969, a joint

committee of the AAUP and the Association of American Colleges developed

Interpretive Comments on the 1940 Statement, which were adopted by the Council

of the American Association of University Professors in April 1970. In addition

Section 3561(c) of the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA)

encourages the free exchange of ideas among faculty, students, and staff, and

goes on to state: “All parties subject to this chapter shall respect and endeavor

to preserve academic freedom in the …California State University.” In 1971 the

CSU Board of Trustees affirmed their commitment to the principles of academic

freedom and referenced the AAUP 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic

Freedom and Tenure from which the Board’s own policy was extracted.

CSU Board of Trustees statement on Academic Freedom (RFSA 71-11).

 

 For decades, the ASCSU has been a strong supporter of academic freedom.   In 2004,

the ASCSU affirmed its endorsement of the (AAUP) 1940 Statement of Principles on

Academic Freedom and Tenure and its 1970 Interpretive Comments.

Given the recognized importance of preserving and safeguarding academic freedom

within higher education, and the unwavering commitment of the ASCSU to advancement

of academic freedom in the CSU, this principle must be articulated within the

Constitution of the ASCSU and regularly monitored as circumstances generate new

interpretations. As the AAUP contends, “The 1940 Statement is not a static code but a

fundamental document designed to set a framework of norms to guide adaptations to

changing times and circumstances.” Given the nature of shared governance in the CSU,

any future developments which require new interpretations of the principle of academic

freedom could be discussed by the ASCSU for formulating recommendations to the

Board of Trustees, which has the authority over adoption and implementation of the

ASCSU recommendations.

This resolution addresses concerns raised by the CSU General Counsel following campus

approval of an amendment previously proposed to accomplish this goal (AS-3003-11/FA [Rev]). 

Approved Unanimously – May 3-4, 2012

 

CSU Board of Trustees statement on Academic Freedom (RFSA 71-11).

 

“Academic Freedom and Artistic Expression” (This resolution, 2111, was approved by the Academic Senate CSU

in November 1992.) http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Reports/pp.pdf

 

“Reaffirmation of Academic Freedom”  (AS-2675-04/FA - November 11-12, 2004)

http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/2003-2004/2675.shtml

 

“Supporting Academic Freedom for CSU International Exchange and Study-Abroad Programs” (AS-2788-06/FA -

November 9, 2006)

http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/2006-2007/2788.shtml

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

“Resolution on Private Donors’ Respect for Academic Freedom” (AS-2936-10/FA (Rev)- January 21, 2010)

http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/2009-2010/documents/2936.pdf

 

“Protecting Academic Freedom for California State University (CSU) Academic Programs, Including Area Studies”

(AS-2822-07/FA (Rev) November 8-9, 2007)

http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/2007-2008/documents/2822.pdf

 

“Endorsing the AAUP Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.” (AS-2661-04/FA – March 6-7, 2004) http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/2003-2004/2661.shtml .