Memorandum of Understanding on Academic Freedom
As lawmakers and educational leaders in Colorado, we agree to the following:
- Higher education in Colorado is a prized institution that fosters learning, culture and economic vitality.
- Colorado’s institutions of higher education are committed to valuing and respecting diversity, including respect for diverse political viewpoints.
- No student should be penalized because of political opinions that differ from a professor’s. Every student should feel comfortable in the right to listen critically and challenge a professor’s opinions.
- Policies that protect students’ rights should not cast doubt on professors’ academic freedom. Academic freedom of faculty and academic freedom of students are essential and complementary elements of successful education.
- While the state of Colorado has a legitimate oversight role in state-sponsored higher education, the individual institutions and their governing bodies are in the best position to implement policies to respect the rights of students and faculty.
- Each institution will review its student rights and campus grievance procedures to ensure that political diversity is explicitly recognized and protected.
- Each institution will ensure those rights are adequately publicized to students.
- Each institution will work with student leadership to ensure that the use of student activity fees meets standards articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court for an open forum that is fair to all viewpoints.
- We will have future discussions to share ideas and perspectives on a range of issues to ensure the campus environment is open and inviting to students of all political viewpoints.
In the Spring of 2004, endorsed by:
University of Colorado
Colorado State University
University of Northern Colorado
Metropolitan State College President