Institutions of higher education, such as Randolph College, are conducted for the common good. This common good depends to a large degree upon the free search for truth and its free exposition in teaching, research, and discussion of academic policies and all matters affecting the general welfare of the College. Tenure insures such freedom to the faculty members of the institution. It is designed to eliminate the chilling effect that the threat of discretionary dismissal casts over academic pursuits. In the absence of the institution of tenure, professors would hesitate to pursue or proclaim ideas that might create tension with students, other faculty, administrators, or society at large.
Therefore, Randolph College accepts principles on academic freedom that are in accord with the principles of the AAUP and that represent a widely shared consensus within the academic community. These principles are summed up in the following excerpt from the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedomdeveloped by the American Association of University Professors.
"Tenure is a means to certain ends; specifically: (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities, and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability. Freedom and economic security, hence, tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society."
1. Academic Freedom
a. The professor is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon a prior understanding with the administration of the College. The professor is also entitled to freedom in the classroom.
b. The professor is a citizen, a member of a learned profession and an officer of an educational institution. When he or she speaks and/or writes in any of these capacities, such expression is free from institutional censorship or discipline, but the faculty member's special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, the faculty member remembers that the public may judge his/her profession by such utterances. Hence, the faculty member strives for accuracy, exercises appropriate restraint, shows respect for the rights of others, and avoids creating the impression that he or she speaks or acts for the College.
a. Upon receiving a tenure appointment, a Faculty member shall have tenure, which is defined as meaning that employment shall not be terminated or academic rank reduced except for adequate cause or under extraordinary circumstances (financial exigency or a bona fide closure or reduction of program). The granting of tenure, a long-term commitment that necessarily affects the entire institution, is one of the most important personnel decisions for the College. Tenure is granted in recognition off excellence and of proven performance, ability, and positive contribution to the College in a combination of teaching, scholarship, and institutional service.
b. A faculty member holding a tenure appointment will not be removed without the approval of the Board of Trustees. Removal will not take place without a hearing pertaining to the cause of the removal, unless the Faculty member freely waives a hearing. Such hearing will be consistent with accepted legal and academic traditions, and will be in accordance with policies stated elsewhere in the Handbook [see Sections on "Termination of Appointment by the College without Prejudice" and "Dismissal for Cause," Infra]. In any such instance, the guiding responsibility of all concerned is to retain and respect the academic integrity of the College.
[III.A. Amended: Faculty, 4/14/09; Trustees, 5/9/09]