Marywood University Policy & Procedure Information

Academic Freedom

Policy Statement

Marywood University affirms its commitment to academic freedom.  In so doing, it reaffirms its commitment to the tradition of higher learning that is the heritage of both the Roman Catholic Church and the nation.  It is a tradition grounded on respect for truth, social responsibility and individual rights. It is a tradition that posits freedom of inquiry, open discussion and unrestricted exchange of ideas as essential to the pursuit of knowledge.

Marywood University upholds academic freedom as a fundamental condition for research and dissemination of information.  The University is a center of discourse where inquiry is encouraged and discoveries are verified and refined by the interaction of scholar with scholar. Marywood University respects the right and responsibility of its faculty and students to conduct research, to publish their findings, and to discuss ideas according to the principles, sources and methods of their academic disciplines.  These principles, sources and methods, as they develop over time, are not external to their respective disciplines.  The University sanctions and encourages investigation of unexplored phenomena, advancement of knowledge, and critical examination of ideas, old and new.  The University accepts the responsibility of protecting both teacher and student from being forced to deny truth that has been discovered or to assert claims that have not been established in the discipline. Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching material matter that has no relation to their subject.
Where the faculty is concerned, academic freedom presupposes, first of all, personal integrity in dealing with students, peers and officers of the University.  Second, it presumes scholarly competence, observance of the professional standards of one's discipline, commitment to the stated mission of the University, and openness to having one's ideas and findings subjected to the judgment of one's peers.  Third, faculty members have a responsibility as professional scholars to be accurate and judicious in their public statements, and respectful of the opinions and responsibilities of others.

Related Policies

Related Committees


12/01/79 - Reaffirmed with publication of Faculty Manual
07/01/93 - Introduction and postscript added
07/01/03 - "Human Subejcts" changed to "Human Participants"
02/19/10 - Revision approved by the President of the University as recommended by the Policy Committee of the University