Academic freedom is the focus of a new provost office website

Fall campus scene

The University of Oregon has launched a new website to provide faculty guidance and resources related to academic freedom. Academic freedom enables faculty members to research and teach without fear of interference within established legal and ethical bounds.

The Academic Freedom site was created by the Office of the Provost as a resource for faculty members who may face questions, criticism or threats related to their research or teaching. With curated materials from across campus and other universities, the site contains easy-to-access links to relevant UO policies and safety resources, communications guidance, and publications addressing academic freedom. The Office of the Provost intends to update the site regularly and welcomes faculty suggestions for its improvement.

“The University of Oregon encourages public engagement. The diffusion of knowledge beyond the academy for the benefit of society is a fundamental feature of the university’s mission,” is the opening statement from the site. “Academic freedom protects and encourages intellectual risk-taking, ‘blue skies’ research, and innovative teaching, even when those pursuits arouse controversy. The discovery of new knowledge, which is often both of academic significance and societal benefit, and its dissemination must be unfettered.”

While created as a practical guide for faculty members, the Office of the Provost hopes that the site will be seen as an expression of the Office of the Provost’s “unswerving dedication to and steadfast support for academic freedom.”