Compliance Certification Report

3.7.4
The institution ensures adequate procedures for safeguarding and protecting academic freedom. (Academic Freedom)
√ Compliant
Partially Compliant
Non-Compliant
Narrative:
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) has adequate procedures in place to safeguard and protect academic freedom among its faculty. The University of Texas System Regents' Rules and Regulations states that faculty members have the right to:
Sec. 1 Freedom in Research. Faculty members are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results.

Sec. 2 Freedom in the Classroom. Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his or her subject, but are expected not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter that has no relation to his or her subject.

Sec. 3 Clarification of Role. Faculty members are citizens, members of learned professions, and officers of an educational institution supported by the State of Texas. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, he or she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but should make it plain that the faculty member is not an institutional spokesperson (1).
UTMB reinforces this commitment in the UTMB Handbook of Operating Procedures:
The faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of other academic duties.

The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his or her subject, but is expected not to introduce into his or her teaching controversial matter that has no relation to his or her subject.

The university faculty member is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational institution supported by the State of Texas. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, he or she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but the faculty member's special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, the faculty member should remember that the public may judge the profession and the institution by his or her utterances. Hence, the faculty member should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make it plain that the faculty member is not an institutional spokesman (2).
Because academic freedom and tenure are closely related, policy and practice in the granting of tenure can be a measure of a university’s commitment to academic freedom. The UTMB Handbook of Operating Procedures on Tenure and Reappointments states:
Tenure is granted to certain faculty members as recognition by UTMB that the individual has demonstrated professional and personal integrity, as well as educational and intellectual qualities that make him or her desirable permanent member of the UTMB faculty. Tenure denotes a status of continuing appointment as a member of the faculty at UTMB (3).
There is a faculty grievance process for faculty to address issues that cannot be resolved through reasoned discussion (4). Grievances covered under this policy include those related to such matter as salary, assignment of duties, academic freedom, or working conditions. Faculty members will not be reprimanded or discriminated against in any way for initiating a grievance under this policy in good faith. Other matters, such as discrimination, sexual harassment, decisions related to tenure or promotion, non-academic matters pertaining to administrative offices, and inequitable application of IHOP policies are covered under different IHOP policies.
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Source
1
Regents' Rules and Regulations, Series 31004, Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty Members, Rule & Regulations, Sections 1,2, and 3
www.utsystem.edu/bor/rules/30000Series/31004%202004%2012%2010%2001.doc
2
UTMB Institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures, Section 5, Faculty Policies, Policy 5.1.1, Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty Members
http://intranet.utmb.edu/Policies_And_Procedures/Faculty_Related/PNP_004926
3
UTMB Institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures, Section 5, Faculty Policies, Policy 5.3.9, Tenure and Reappointments
http://intranet.utmb.edu/Policies_And_Procedures/Faculty_Related/PNP_004936
4
UTMB Institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures, Section 5, Faculty Policies, Policy 5.3.8, Faculty Grievance Policy
http://intranet.utmb.edu/Policies_And_Procedures/Faculty_Related/PNP_004935