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III. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

Each member of the university community enjoys all rights of citizenship and has a responsibility to fulfill the obligations incumbent on all citizens. Additionally, there are special rights and responsibilities inherent in membership in an academic society.

A.  Responsibility to Respect the Rights of Others: Each member of the university community has a responsibility, based upon the special mission of an institution of higher education, to respect the rights of others to function in an atmosphere where freedom to teach, to learn, and to conduct research and publish findings is preserved and respected, an atmosphere which includes, without limitation, the following specific rights:

  1. The right of the instructor to academic freedom and impartial consideration for tenure in accord with the principles set forth in the Statement of Academic Freedom and Tenure, adopted jointly in 1940 by the Association of American Colleges and the American Association of university Professors, and with the standards and procedures approved by the Board of Visitors and set forth in the Faculty Handbook.
  2. The right of the instructor to determine the specific content of their course within established course definitions. Concurrently, the instructor has the responsibility not to depart significantly from their area of competence or to divert significant time to materials extraneous to the subject of the course.
  3. The right of the student to be evaluated entirely on the basis of academic performance and to discuss freely, inquire, and express opinions inside the classroom. The student has a responsibility to maintain standards of academic performance as set by their professors, provided, however, that the student shall have means for redress against arbitrary, unreasonable, or prejudicial standards of evaluation.
  4. The right to pursue normal academic and administrative activities, including the freedom of movement in the performance of such activities.
  5. The right to privacy in offices, laboratories, and residence hall rooms and in the keeping of personal papers and effects.
  6. The right to hear and study unpopular and controversial views on intellectual and public issues.
  7. The right of the student to expect that information about their views, beliefs, and political associations, which an instructor acquires in the course of their work as a teacher, advisor or counselor of the student be held in confidence to the extent permitted by law.

B.  Rights and Responsibilities of Student Publications: Because student publications are a valuable aid in establishing and maintaining an atmosphere of free and responsible discussion and intellectual exploration on the campus, it is essential that they enjoy the following rights and responsibilities:

  1. The right to be free from prior censorship or advance approval of copy.
  2. The right to develop editorial policies and news coverage.
  3. The right to be protected from arbitrary punishment or suspension, or removal from an editorial or managerial position because of student, faculty, administrative, or public disapproval of editorial policy or content. Only for proper and stated causes, as defined by the Publications Council of the university, shall editors and managers be subject to such punishment, suspension, or removal. The academic status of a student editor or manager shall not be affected provided, however, that he/she remains subject to the provisions of Article I, Sections C.3 and D.3.
  4. The responsibility to make clear in writings or broadcasts that editorial opinions are not necessarily those of the institution or its members.

C.  The Responsibility to Maintain High Standards: Members of the university community have a responsibility to maintain the highest standards in the performance of their duties and to respect the aforesaid rights of their associates.