Faculty Rights Tip of the Week: Academic Freedom

As we prepare for the historic 5-day strike in April, CFA members have had many questions about free speech and Academic Freedom.

Make no mistake, when the time comes to go on strike, our members will exercise their First Amendment rights forcefully while at the same time legally exercising the right to stand up to the Chancellor for better salaries in our Fight for Five.

In the meantime, faculty should feel free to do the work that they’ve always done both inside and outside of the classroom. 

You will want to let your students know about cancelled classes, campus closures, and what is expected of them during the strike. Students will have questions, and you are free to provide answers. 

Please see the FAQ for faculty and the FAQ for students for more on the topic.

Outside of class time and other assignments, faculty are gearing up and doing the work we need to do to stand up to the Chancellor. Get in touch with your chapter leaders.

And look to the preamble of the Collective Bargaining Agreement for a clearer understanding of the rights of faculty:

It is the purpose of the parties in entering this Agreement to promote high standards of education in the CSU. The CSU shall support the pursuit of excellence and academic freedom in teaching, research, and learning through the free exchange of ideas among the faculty.

The parties recognize that quality education requires an atmosphere of academic freedom and academic responsibility. The parties acknowledge and encourage the continuation of academic freedom while recognizing that the concept of academic freedom is accompanied by a corresponding concept of responsibility to the University and its students.

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is a good resource as well. So are your peers, CFA leaders, and members of the CSU Academic Senate.

If you are experiencing infringement on protected speech or your Academic Freedom, or feel intimidated by administrative memos and directives, we want to know. Contact your campus chapter Faculty Rights Chair right away

If you have questions about a faculty rights tip or would like to suggest a tip, please write us at cfa@calfac.org with the subject line “Faculty Rights Tip.”