Academic Freedom Policy

City University of Seattle is a teaching University. It focuses on bringing a high-quality, relevant life-long education to those who have a desire to learn, in multiple delivery modes and locations around the world. It does so by having common curricula developed by groups of experts led by the program directors and program coordinators, referred to collectively as CityU's Administrative Faculty. While most Administrative Faculty teach in their programs, their primary jobs are as administrators, the equivalent of department chairs. The majority of teaching is accomplished by CityU's Teaching Faculty, a cadre of faculty who are contracted to teach specific courses, and who are generally professionals in the fields in which they teach. This is in alignment with CityU's emphasis on practitioner-focused education. The use of common curricula is thus an important component of ensuring the consistently high quality of CityU's academic programs.

CityU promotes faculty exploration in teaching and in research. The CityU Board of Governors has adopted the following policy on Academic Freedom, adapted from the 1940 resolution of the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges:

"Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition.

The Board of Governors believes that freedom is essential to these purposes and that freedom applies to teaching, research and learning so long as that freedom is exercised in a manner that meets a faculty member's professional and ethical obligations to students and to the University and that does not damage the University or its reputation.

The Board of Governors delegates responsibility for the management of City University's academic affairs, consistent with Board policies, to the President of the University, who shall exercise such responsibility in conjunction with the Provost."

All faculty who teach for CityU participate in an orientation session, and CityU's commitment to academic freedom is discussed in that program. Faculty are encouraged to bring new material, in addition to the established course curriculum, into the classroom. Indeed, because so many of the Teaching Faculty are practicing professionals, they pride themselves in interjecting the most current literature and practices of their fields into the instructional milieu. And because many student have related work experiences as well, their additions lead to the liveliest engagements. These currencies are examples of the freedoms the faculty exercise as they teach for CityU.

CityU encourages and supports scholarship, particularly for the Administrative Faculty. Several faculty have pursued advanced degrees with informal institutional support to accommodate their studies. Many have participated in conferences and published research papers. The institution houses an Office of Curriculum and Faculty Development Support Services, which administers a research grant program. A complete Institutional Review Board policy and procedures is in place to guide the ethical use of human subjects in research for both students and faculty.

Recently, with the approval by the Board of Governors of the proposal to create a doctoral program in Organizational Leadership, a focused interest in supporting research related to advancing good practice in the respective fields in which CityU offers instruction, as well as in new and improved pedagogy, will be driving forces in allocating research resources to faculty, but the freedom for faculty to pursue topics of their own choosing will still be respected. The Request for Proposals administered by the Faculty Standards and Development Committee incorporate those themes as it seeks to distribute internal research support funds. These matters have arisen in approval and accreditation processes in other countries that expect all faculty to be involved in the traditional triad of teaching, research, and service, and in all cases, CityU policies and practices have been approved as fostering the academic freedoms faculty expect.