Rights, Freedoms, and Responsibilities

Freedom to Teach and Learn

Augustana University is committed to the acquisition of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, the development of students, and promotion of the general well-being of society. Free inquiry and free expression are indispensable to the attainment of these goals. As members of the Augustana community, students are encouraged to develop the capacity for critical judgment and to engage in a sustained and independent search for truth. The freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of this academic freedom. The freedom to learn depends upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. The responsibility to secure and to respect conditions conducive to the freedom to learn is shared by all members of the college community. Augustana has developed policies and procedures which provide and safeguard this freedom. These policies and procedures are developed within a framework of general standards that are not meant to limit the constitutional right to freedom of expression.

The professor in the classroom and in conference shall encourage free discussion, inquiry, and expression. Student performance shall be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.

Freedom of Expression

Students are free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.

Protection Against Improper Academic Evaluation
Students have protection through orderly procedure against prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation.

Protection Against Improper Disclosure
Information about student views, beliefs, and political associations which is disclosed to a faculty member in confidence is at all times to be considered confidential. Protection against improper disclosure is a serious professional obligation. Judgments of ability and character may be provided under appropriate circumstances, normally with the knowledge or consent of the student (refer to Student Records for amplification of policy and procedures).

Freedom from Discrimination

Augustana adheres to all federal and state civil rights laws banning discrimination in institutions of higher education.

Augustana is committed to providing equal access to and participation in employment opportunities and in programs and services, without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, or disability. Augustana complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and other applicable laws providing for nondiscrimination against all individuals. Augustana will provide reasonable accommodations for known disabilities to the extent required by law.

This policy covers nondiscrimination in employment and in access to educational opportunities. Therefore, any member of the campus community, guest or visitor who acts to deny, deprive or limit the educational, employment, residential and/or social access, benefits and/or opportunities of any member of the campus community on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in the protected classes listed above is in violation of Augustana policy on nondiscrimination. When brought to the attention of Augustana, any such discrimination will be appropriately remedied by Augustana according to the procedures below.  This Policy is not intended to create a contract between Augustana University and any other person.

Inquiries or concerns should be directed to: Beth Elam, Title IX Coordinator & Assistant Dean of Students, Dean of Students Office — Edith Mortenson Center #116, 605.274.4124, belam@augie.edu, www.augie.edu/titleix

Freedom of Association

Students are free to organize and join associations to promote common interests provided the student organization’s purpose is consistent with the University’s mission and values.

Student organizations shall submit a constitution (i.e., a statement of purpose, criteria for membership, and rules of procedure) to the Director of Student Activities as a condition of official college recognition. Official college recognition affords an organization with eligibility for financial support from the Augustana Student Association, use of college facilities and general support for programming.

University recognition requires that each student organization choose its own campus advisor. Advisors may advise organizations in the exercise of responsibility, but they shall not have the authority to control the policy of such organizations.

Requirements for organizational membership may be specified by the members of each student organization insofar as they are consistent with Augustana’s mission and values, and the University’s nondiscrimination policy.

Freedom of Inquiry and Expression

Students and student organizations are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and express opinions publicly and privately. They shall always be free to support causes by orderly means which do not disrupt the regular and essential operation of the University.

Officially recognized student organizations shall be allowed to invite persons or organizations of their choosing. The University has procedures for inviting and hosting guest speakers to the campus that provide a point of college approval for the event and to insure orderly scheduling of facilities and appropriate organization and preparation. These procedures are coordinated by the Director of Student Activities. Augustana University maintains that sponsorship of speakers and non-college organizations by officially recognized student organizations does not necessarily imply approval or endorsement of the views expressed either by the sponsoring groups or the University.

Student Government
Students are free individually and collectively to express their views on issues of University policy and on matters of general interest to the student body. The student body has a clearly defined means through the Augustana Student Association to participate in the formulation and application of institutional policy affecting academic and student affairs.

Student Publications
As the publisher of student publications, Augustana University may have to bear the legal responsibility for the content of the publications. In the delegation of editorial responsibility to students, the University provides sufficient editorial freedom and financial autonomy for student publications to maintain their integrity of purpose as vehicles for free inquiry and free expression in an academic community. The college administration, through the Publications Board, has a responsibility to provide clarification of the role of the student publications. The editorial freedom of student editors and managers entails corollary responsibilities to be governed by elements of responsible journalism, such as the avoidance of libel, indecency, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and the techniques of harassment and innuendo. As safeguards for the editorial freedom of student publications the following provisions are necessary:

  • The student press shall be free of censorship and advance approval of copy. Its editors and managers are free to develop their own editorial policies and news coverage keeping in mind the rights of all students in respect to valid coverage of all aspects of student life.
  • Editors and managers of student publications are protected from arbitrary suspension and removal because of student, faculty, administrative, or public disapproval of editorial policy or content. Only for proper and stated causes shall editors and managers be subject to removal and then by orderly and prescribed procedures designated by the Publications Board.
  • All Augustana University published and financed student publications shall explicitly state on the editorial page that opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University or the students.