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Comprehensive Standard 3.7.4

The institution ensures adequate procedures for safeguarding and protecting academic freedom. (Academic freedom) 

Judgement: Compliant


As a center of learning, the University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. Academic freedom is essential to effective instruction, continuing scholarship, and active service, and applies to both teaching and research. USC Upstate safeguards and protects academic freedom adhering to the policies outlined in the Faculty Manual. USC Upstate policies pertaining to academic freedom are in accord with the statement of academic freedom adopted by the American Association of University Professors.

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions not only in the classroom, but on the campus as a whole. The responsibility to secure and to respect general conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the academic community — faculty, staff, and students.

Faculty members often play dual roles of citizen and professor. Due to their special position in the community, when faculty members speak or write as citizens, they are under special obligations since the public may judge their profession and their institution by their expressions. Faculty members are expected to be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, respect the right of others to express their opinions, and make every effort to indicate that they are not spokespersons for the University. USC Upstate faculty members are encouraged to carry out their duties in a professional, ethical, and collegial manner.

Faculty members who believe that their academic freedom has been infringed upon may request in writing that the Faculty WelfareCommittee initiate an investigation. The Faculty Welfare Committee will refer the request to the Grievance Committee as appropriate and grievance procedures are followed.

To promote the welfare of the University and as an assurance that academic freedom will be protected, USC Upstate supports the tenure process.  After a successful probationary period and application, it is the policy of USC Upstate to recommend tenure for its full-time tenure-track faculty members. In the University of South Carolina (USC) System, the authority for recommending tenure to the President of the University System rests with the Chancellor. Final authority for recommending tenure to the USC Board of Trustees resides with the President, and final authority for approving recommendations of tenure rests with the Board of Trustees.

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