Prince Sultan University PSU
Policy Management System
Academic Freedom Policy

Policy Code: GV0014
Policy Name: Academic Freedom Policy
Handler: Academic Affairs
Date Created: 15 July 2020
Date of Current Review: 15 August 2020
Approved by: University Council
Date of Approval: 02/09/2020

  1. Introduction, definition, and purpose
  2. Scope and application
  3. Responsibility of faculty members
  4. Approval policy

Introduction, definition, and purpose

The academic freedom is the central right of any academician and an academic institution. Academic freedom is a termed as an open and multi-dimensional deliberation on a topic in an academic context. Prince Sultan University has ethical and legal duty to the develop student’s understanding and learning through academic freedom .

This right shall be protected by Prince Sultan University.

Academic freedom is specifically pertinent for freedom of faculty members, Research scholars and students in the institution and embraces freedom to speak, write and express thoughts without unreasonable restriction. The academic staff and the students shall be adjudged through an established criteria for their intellectual and professional inputs, not on personal beliefs, and political or religious views. PSU believes that the restriction of academic freedom affects intellectual and professional accomplishments. Hence it is the guarantee of the university to allow the faculty members and the students to learn in an atmosphere where they can freely share their ideas, do research in any topic of interest and speak publicly in their chosen areas . The purpose of the academic freedom policy of Prince Sultan university (PSU) is to develop teaching and learning by utilizing all means to support the optimal progress of the educational philosophy of instruction in the programs put by the respective PSU colleges.PSU Encourages a diversity of teaching and learning methods including plans aimed to help the students to work and learn in autonomous environment of conviction and freedom of thought.

Scope and Application

  1. Scope This policy applies across The University, including the comprising University Councils, faculty committees and other decision making bodies included in academic governance .
  2. Application Every manager, faculty member and student is required to take personal duty to understand the requirements of the policy of Academy Freedom and its day-to-day application

Principles and rights

  1. To ensure that academic staff and students have freedom within the law to hold and express opinions and ideas ; develop and advance new concepts & proposals; and present variety of points of view, without placing themselves at risk of losing their privileges or jobs;
  2. To enable academic teaching staff & faculty to fulfil their functions without discrimination or suppression of any kind.
  3. To permit academics manage their activities resourcefully, to teach without intrusion, subjected to accepted professional principles with regard to standards and methods of teaching.
  4. To maintain an effective, harmless, and supportive learning environment and promote an equitable & fair atmosphere in their relationships with students.
  5. To support academic staff who hold a position on a matter of controversy
  6. Academic freedom covers both the individual and institutional right to maintain academic standards and to give academic staff suitable latitude in deciding how to teach the courses for which they are responsible.

Responsibility of Faculty Members:

  1. Teaching and Research: The faculty member is under obligation to fulfil his/her teaching and research responsibilities. The faculty has to develop and improve his/her scholarly capability, to adhere to voluntary self- discipline and judgement in transmitting knowledge. The faculty member shall be effective as a teacher and scholar. He/she is expected to ensure the delivery of the academic content of the course, and promote fundamental values of the rule of law, human liberty, mutual respect, and tolerance for those with different faiths, beliefs and opinions. He/she shall avoid promoting or giving a platform for furthering extremist ideologies or terrorism
  2. Students: The students are entitled to a fair treatment in an environment of mutual respect within the teacher- student relationship. Faculty members are not allowed to refuse to teach any student on the ground of student’s religion, color, and belief. The faculty member is not allowed to use his/her authority as a teacher to mishandle, to harass or discriminate due to religion, race, color, handicap, or any other reason. The Faculty members shall make every reasonable exertion to promote honest academic conduct among their students and ensure that the assessments of students reflect their true performance. The students should be protected and be given the right to challenge or give alternate views and not reprimanded for holding the same.
  3. Courses: The academic freedom is limited to values and practices agreed upon by the College council. the teaching staff cannot simply teach anything they want. Courses shall be vetted and approved by departmental councils. The faculty members are expected to ensure the delivery of the courses content as described in the syllabus. They have the freedom in the presentation of their subjects without obtrusive material, which is not included or approved in the assigned course by the curriculum committee. The review and amendment of any courses will be submitted to the College curriculum review committee and to the Institutional Curriculum review committee if it is a major change. 3.1 University Responsibility; The University shall protect and promote academic freedom by allowing faculty members and students engage in enquiry, research, teaching or public commentary. The University shall recognize viewpoints’ diversity and the right to express lawfully opinions on university campuses and in public mediums.
  4. 4.0 Approval and Revision The policy is endorsed and fully approved by the Colleges councils and the University Council.