Morehouse College values and protects the academic freedom of faculty members. Generally, academic freedom involves the ability of its professoriate to engage in a large range of activities central to pedagogy and the acquisition of knowledge autonomously without interference or threat of dismissal. The value of academic freedom to the Academy and in particular to Morehouse is explicitly described within the Faculty bylaws. Each faculty member is provided with a copy of the Faculty Handbook and Bylaws.
Tenure: Significant measures are also in place to safeguard, protect and promote academic freedom. Faculty members who hold the rank of assistant professor and who enter the college on a tenure-track appointment are eligible for tenure. Tenure is widely accepted as a means to safeguard and protect academic freedom. Faculty members who are tenured can only be dismissed for very specific reasons. They can not be dismissed for expressing viewpoints within the classroom.
Tenured faculty can be terminated for cause or other bases as outlined in the Faculty Handbook:
“Adequate cause for a dismissal will be related, directly and substantially, to the fitness of faculty members in their professional capacities as teachers and researchers. Dismissal will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom.”
Other Bases for Termination:
Tenured faculty may be terminated due to:
In all cases, faculty members have the opportunity to appeal. Grievance procedures are generally prescribed by the Office of Human Resources and more specifically prescribed in Chapter 8 of the Faculty Handbook for both tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty.
The Faculty Grievance Committee is composed of faculty from each of the College’s three divisions and may be petitioned for faculty who are not recommended for reappointment, tenure or promotion.
“The faculty member must state in detail the factual basis for the claim that the recommendation was based on personal malice, on considerations violative of academic freedom, or on discrimination based on age, sex, race, religion or national origin or significant violations of review procedures.”
Academic freedom also involves the ability to determine what to teach in the classroom, choosing a research focus, presenting research findings to colleagues and publishing research findings.
All professors format syllabi and individual lecture topics therein without scrutiny or interference at the department, division or institutional level. Classroom evaluations focus on effectiveness and quality of presentation rather than a critique of the topical information.