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University Policy Office

Shelly G. Gonzalez, Policy Officer
Administration 208
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660.543.4730
Fax: 660.543.8022
sgonzalez@ucmo.edu





Academic Freedom and Tenure
Board of Governors Policy 2.2.030
Revised and approved by the Board of Governors on July 9, 2005

The University of Central Missouri believes that academic freedom and certain economic security for its academic staff are vital to its success in fulfilling the university's obligations to its students and to society. In general the university agrees with the spirit of the 1940 AAUP/AAC Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure. The university, therefore, supports the following principles.

I. Academic Freedom

The university affirms the following principles of academic freedom in teaching and research for all faculty members.

A. Institutions of higher education are established and maintained for the common good, which depends upon the free search for truth and its free expression through learning, teaching, research and scholarship.

B. Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is fundamental to the protection of the rights of the faculty member in teaching and of the student in learning. It carries with it duties correlative with rights of which the following are indicative:

  1. Faculty members are entitled to freedom in research and in the publication of the results (qualified insofar as necessary in the case of sponsored research), subject to the adequate performance of other academic duties.

  2. Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects, but have the responsibility not to depart significantly from their respective areas of competence and also not to introduce controversial matter which has no relation to the subject.

  3. Faculty members are citizens, members of an educational institution, and members of learned professions. When they speak or write as citizens, they are to be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. They should anticipate that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances and actions. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others and make every effort to indicate that they do not speak for the institution.

II. The Principle of Tenure

Tenure is an additional safeguard for academic freedom. Tenure also provides faculty with a certain degree of economic security and creates a faculty that has a strong, long-term commitment to the University of Central Missouri.

A. Individual contracts will state the terms and conditions for every appointment and will be in the possession of the institution and faculty member before the appointment is consummated.

B. Probationary Period - The purpose of a probationary period is to allow reasonable time for full-time faculty members to establish their academic performance, potential performance, and projected institutional needs in order that a proper assessment may be made regarding the award of tenure at the conclusion of the six-year probationary period. Academic freedom is to be guaranteed in teaching and research for all faculty members during the probationary period.

C. Notification of Non-reappointment during the Probationary Period - Notice of non-reappointment, or of intention not to recommend reappointment to the Board of Governors, will be given in writing in accordance with the following standard:

  1. Not later than March 1 of the first academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of the first year; or, if a one-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least three months in advance of its termination.

  2. Not later than December 1 of the second academic year of service, if the appointment expires at the end of the year; or, if an initial two-year appointment terminates during an academic year, at least six months in advance of its termination.

  3. At least 12 months before the expiration of an appointment after two or more years of service to the university.

III. Tenure

A. Definition - Tenure at the University of Central Missouri consists of membership in a protected class of faculty on long-term, indefinite and continuous appointment to the faculty whose members may be separated from the university against their will only after being afforded procedural due process of law and only in accord with the rights and procedures specified in paragraph C, below. Tenure at the University of Central Missouri exists as stated at the time of the awarding of tenure, i.e., either on a department-wide basis or as otherwise stated at the time of the awarding of tenure.

B. Award of Tenure - Tenure at the University of Central Missouri may be awarded only by the president, as delegated by theBoard of Governors (Board of Governors By-Laws, Article XVII), to faculty who have been recommended for tenure in accordance with procedures set forth in the then current Faculty Guide.

C. Rights of Tenured Faculty - Tenured faulty are permanent members of the university community. Once gained, tenure is retained until a tenured faculty member retires pursuant to faculty retirement policies of the Board of Governors, is dismissed for cause, or is terminated under the conditions of, and in accord with, the provisions of the university retrenchment policy and procedures. A tenured faculty member terminated for cause such as incompetence, neglect, dishonesty or refusal to perform duties shall be entitled to file a grievance with the Faculty Senate Ethics and Grievance Committee under its procedures and shall be accorded the rights provided by Chapter 174, RSMo.

Approved by the Board of Regents on May 15, 1986
Editorial changes by the Board of Governors on March 19, 2003
Revised and approved by the Board of Governors on July 9, 2005
Formatting updated August 1, 2007