These principles of academic freedom, as also expressed by the American Association of University Professors, are recognized by the faculty and the administration of ASCC and by the Board of Higher Education of American Samoa.
Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the ASCC instructor in teaching and of the student in learning. It carries with it duties and certain rights.
The ASCC instructor is entitled to full freedom of research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of his/her other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution. Some conditions may be required of commissioned work.
Accordingly, the College defends the teachers’ full right to freedom in the classroom to discuss or interpret his or her subject. The teacher has the right to be free from pressures and forces extraneous to the performance of his or her ethical and professional duties in the determination of the student’s grades.
The ASCC instructor is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his/her subject, but should careful not to introduce into his/her teaching controversial matter that has no relation to the subject. When he or she speaks or writes as a citizen, they shall be free from institutional censorship or discipline. Thus while in accordance with all restrictions of applicable law concerning political activities in the work place, a faculty member is free to express publicly, in speaking or writing, his or her own considered view or opinion of any or all matters which are felt from time to time to be in need of such expression, provided that such statement shall satisfy the requirement of professional dignity, is done in good taste and is sensitive to the importance of local customs. Such statements are not represented as other than the private view of the person making them. With such freedom comes a responsibility of objectivity, respect for the opinion of others, and a keen attention to the present means of bias and error, particularly when exploring controversial subjects.
When controversial matters arise, faculty and administrators are to address topics factually, and to refrain from using personal privilege or prestige to promote their own view points. Furthermore, in no way should such views be distorted or implied to be the official position of the College or the Board of Higher Education. Controversial matters must be brought to the attention of the Dean of Academic Affairs.
A College instructor’s special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, he/she should remember the public will judge his/her profession and institution by his/her utterance. Hence, he/she should at all times be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, and should show respect for the opinion of others.