Sam Houston State University
Academic Policy Statement 851104
Procedure in Matters Involving Public
1.01 Academic freedom is one of the universally cherished concepts in American higher education. When the pursuit of knowledge is inhibited, the progress of society itself is encumbered. Academic freedom must be more than just a statement of policy; it must be the very spirit of the institution itself.
1.02 Every institution of higher education is nonetheless responsible to the society which supports it. The university and the society cannot be mutually exclusive entities unconcerned for each other. They must be deeply interested in each other because they depend on each other. Therefore, all possible channels of communication between the university and the society must be maintained so that each knows and appreciates the value of the other.
2.01 The following procedure is to be followed to facilitate the university's response to complaints about the university's public propriety.
a. Should complaints concerning the propriety of instruction, programs, or media be received by the university from any source, those complaints and the identity of those who made the complaints, should be provided to the person(s) against whom the allegation is directed.
b. The matter should then be brought to the attention of the chair of the academic department involved.
c. If the department chair feels the matter warrants such attention, he/she should notify the appropriate Dean or the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
d. Any reply to the complainant should be prepared in writing by the senior administrator involved. Such replies should be calculated to permit the university to be socially responsive without involving itself in the practice of censorship.
e. If the senior administrator feels that the matter requires the attention of the Dean or Vice President for Academic Affairs, the senior administrator's reply to the complainant will be cleared through those offices.
f. If the news media are involved, a copy of the approved reply will be furnished by the senior administrator involved to the Public Information Office for distribution to the media. Person(s) against whom a complaint is filed may, of course, issue their own statement if they so choose.
3. EFFECTIVE DATE OF POLICY
3.01 This policy shall become effective on December 16, 1985.
Elliott T. Bowers, President