The West Valley-Mission Community College District recognizes that democratic participation, positive social change, and moral education, as well as scientific and technological advancement, all require the free exchange of ideas and information. Therefore, the District is committed to the free expression of diverse viewpoints on the part of faculty and students, as well as encouraging critical examination of these various perspectives. The District is also committed to the conduct of research and observation of the natural world unimpeded by social, religious, political, or theoretical biases and prejudices.
Academic freedom is the right of faculty members to interpret scholarly findings and communicate conclusions without being subject to harassment when those conclusions are at variance with popularly held beliefs or opinions. Faculty members have a corresponding obligation to study, present, interpret, and discuss facts and ideas concerning their fields of knowledge in a responsible manner. The faculty member will acknowledge the facts on which controversial views are based and show respect for reasonable opinions held by others.
Institutions of higher education operate not to further the interest of either the individual faculty member or the institution as a whole but rather for the common good. In a democratic society the common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth while academic freedom in teaching is essential both to the uninhibited expression of scholarly findings and to ensuring the fullest student engagement with ideas.