The Board believes that academic freedom is an essential right
arising from the nature and function of education. The aims and
objectives of the West Hills Community College District point
to the unreserved and unqualified obligation of the instructor
to pursue his/her subject and the program area surrounding it
in a manner consistent with standards of scholarly objectivity
as defined by academic tradition and practice.
The West Hills Community College District holds that academic
freedom involves inherently the following rights and responsibilities:
- The right to explore to the limit of competence and training,
the assigned teaching area and its references.
- The responsibility within the teaching area to weigh studiously
serious intellectual differences, when applicable, which rise
from historical context and perspective.
- The right to present the democratic process with its freedoms,
rights, and safeguards as the sole way in which the academic
community and nation can exist and establish the means for progress
and the greater fulfillment of man.
- The responsibility in solving problems to appeal only to those
criteria sanctioned historically by reason as confirmed through
- The right to survey, probe, and question the condition of
man within the guidelines of accepted research techniques and
- The responsibility of avoiding the intellectual error of assuming
absolute answers for complex problems and presenting these answers
as unquestionable truth.
- The responsibility to introduce within the assigned teaching
areas, controversial concepts, issues and systems, subjecting
these ideas to the test of objective reasoning.
- The responsibility of recognizing, respecting, and discussing
fairly those areas of human activity not amenable as such to
the scientific method.
- The right to create unhampered and clear intellectual atmosphere,
maintained, encouraged, and supported by staff, administration
- The responsibility of avoiding any teaching method, which
relies on rigid authority or implied infallibility.
- The responsibility in challenging students, notwithstanding
their ability or program, to develop a spirit of inquiry regarding
all academic areas and to seek logical answers.
The West Hills Community College District considers academic
freedom defined by its attendant rights and responsibilities as
a vital, primary force in the achievement of the aims and objectives
of the institution.