University of Lethbridge:

Statements regarding commitment to free expression

The common good of society depends upon the search for truth and its free exposition. Academic freedom in both teaching and research is essential to these purposes. Members are entitled to the freedom to carry out research and to publish the results, to the freedom to teach and discuss their subjects, and to the freedom from institutional censorship. (Faculty Handbook, Preamble)


The Board and the Association recognize Members’ rights and duties associated with academic freedom, in particular, freedom to form ideas, discuss ideas, publish ideas, and teach ideas which challenge opinions regarding academic, administrative and all other matters. (Faculty Handbook, 11.01.3)


[M]embers of academic staff serving as Board members retain all of the rights and responsibilities of members of the academic staff including the provisions of academic freedom, the right to question and criticize the administration of the University, and the right to grieve violations of the Faculty Handbook by the administration. (Faculty Handbook, Schedule I)


Individual Board members have the responsibility to form, hold and act on informed and reasoned positions on questions that have significant import for the University. They are free to communicate their views to all interested parties provided that: (1) they do not, without appropriate prior approval, represent themselves as speaking for the Board as a whole; and (2) do not violate the reasonable confidences of the Board. In matters of principle or the public interest, Board members may speak freely, subject only to the normal constraints of the law and the ethical standards of the community, including those they accepted when assuming the responsibilities. (Terms of Reference for an Individual Governor, 3.3.6)


Independence: Independence is an essential quality of an effective Governor. Each Governor will:

3.4.1 think, speak and act independently with confidence and courage;

3.4.2 be critical and responsive to change and new thinking;

3.4.3 resist behaving differently merely for the sake of appearances; being objective when considering tradeoffs and consequences; and

3.4.4 be willing to differ from the Chair of the Board and other Governors and/or the President in taking a reasoned, independent position.

(Terms of Reference for an Individual Governor, 3.4)


The University asserts its right and responsibility for free expression and communication of ideas. It is self-evident that a university cannot function without complete autonomy in this domain. (Statement of Philosophy, University of Lethbridge Calendar 2007-2008, 5)


We protect free inquiry and expression. In keeping with the unique mandate of the university in society, the University of Lethbridge supports and protects artistic expression and the free and open scholarly discussion of issues, including those that are controversial. We also have an obligation to address long-term issues and those of broad scope. (Our Fundamental Principles, University of Lethbridge Calendar 2007-2008, 6)



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