Graduate catalog: 2022/23

Academic Freedom Policy

Academic freedom refers to the freedom of a university to set its intellectual priorities without undue interference from outside authorities and the freedom of students, course instructors, deans, faculty, and all other subject matter experts to promote wide-ranging discussion of intellectual, academic, and moral concerns by teaching, studying, writing, speaking, and pursuing knowledge, inquiry and research without unreasonable interference or restriction from law, institutional regulations, or public pressure. UoPeople affirms the freedom of course instructors to inquire into any subject that evokes their intellectual concern; to critique or advocate for change of social, academic and institutional norms and received wisdom; to present their findings to their students, colleagues, and others; to publish their data and conclusions without control or censorship; and to teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate. It affirms the right of students to study subjects that concern them, form their own conclusions, and express their own opinions.

Academic freedom, free study and ordered discussion in the classroom are promoted by the obligation to teach and study the stated curriculum in a professional manner. Academic freedom is not a license for instructors to ignore the teaching priorities of the institution, the degree requirements UoPeople imposes, or the ordinary standards of academic discourse in their field. In class, students and instructors are responsible for staying relevant to the course curriculum, respectful of time limitations, and respectful of other university participants. Similarly, academic freedom is furthered by UoPeople’s requirements that instructors and students follow norms of orderly debate, civility and mutual respect and it is not a justification for students or instructors to abuse others.