Protecting academic freedom is central to the mission of United Academics. From our contract negotiations adding strong speech protections in our CBA (Article 5) to collaborative work with the University Senate, students and other campus unions, United Academics has provided critical impetus for advancing what is now among the strongest Academic Freedom policy frameworks in the country. The new University Senate policy affirms that “members of the university community have freedom to address, question, or criticize any matter of institutional policy or practice, whether acting as individuals or as members of an agency of institutional governance.” Notably, the policy applies not only to the teaching, research, and service activities of faculty, but also to undergraduate and graduate students, classified staff, and visitors to campus, permitting free debate and expression without fear of institutional reprisal.
On May we were delighted that President Gottfredson signed the Academic Freedom policy adopted unanimously by the University Senate in April [http://senate.uoregon.edu/content/academic-freedom-policy]. This particular policy was developed over the course of many months, including numerous meetings between President Gottfredson and the Senate ad hoc workgroup, chaired by Senator Dreiling (UA President).