Faculty Senate Statement on Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom Statement:
The Faculty Senate of Metropolitan State College of Denver strongly reaffirms its
commitment to academic freedom. Such freedom is as fundamental to the principles of
liberty and democracy on which this country is founded as freedom of speech and
freedom of the press. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) writes
that “teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and the publication of the results…”
We strongly affirm our commitment to due process to assure the integrity of academic
Academic freedom is germane to intellectual growth because it enables the critical
expression and exploration of all ideas, no matter how unpalatable some may be.
Rigorous academic debate requires the discussion of both poplar and unpopular
perspective, enabling the refinement of ideas and strengthening of our understandings of
how the world operates. It is not the popular ideas which require the protection of
academic freedom; rather, it is the unpopular ideas that are in need of safeguarding.
Education requires the open exchange of ideas that stimulate discussion and debate.
Education in its best form encourages the application of critical thinking to those
opinions. It is through critical thinking that we learn and become informed decision
makers; indeed, this is one of the most important products of our institutions of higher
learning. Through open intellectual discourse and debate, ideas are created, some are
discarded, and others are refined into a solid body of knowledge.