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CWUP 1-40 Board Statement on Academic Freedom

The board of trustees believes that an atmosphere of academic freedom is a fundamental prerequisite for excellence in higher education. Faculty and students engaged in the pursuit of truth must be free to grow intellectually and challenge conventional wisdom and to explore new avenues of thought, tempered by intellectual discipline and good taste. It is a prime objective of the Central Washington University board of trustees and administration to foster such freedom and to establish only those rules and regulations which are essential to the orderly operation of the institution or which enhance its quality. The board of trustees believes strongly that administrative rules are means, not ends, and they should be designed to further and not to interfere with the primary objectives of the institution: the pursuit of truth, the acquisition of knowledge, and the development of intellect.

A system of governance for a complex campus cannot exist, however, without explicit ground rules and guidelines.

Closely related to the question of academic freedom is meaningful and systematic involvement of the faculty and staff in the governance of the university. Appropriate formal means shall be employed to ensure that all employee groups have an effective voice on various matters relating to the institution. These should include all matters which have a direct bearing on the validity of the institution as a center of learning such as curriculum development, selection of principal academic personnel, faculty appointments, retention and promotions, and standards of conduct, both academic and social.

The means by which this involvement would occur at Central Washington University is best determined by the faculty, the staff, and the administration with the approval of the university board of trustees.

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