Academic Freedom - Christian Heritage College

Academic Freedom

Policy Group(s): Group G: Human Resource Management (Ref: G1/0912.1)
Related Groups: Group B: Academic – 2: Staff | Group B: Academic – 1: Students
Related Policy: Academic Integrity Code of Conduct Research Code of Conduct
Commencement Date: January 1995
Review Date: August 2012
Additional Information


In accordance with its foundation on Christian principles as informed by Scripture, CHC considers that a commitment to the principle of academic freedom is fundamental to the fulfilment of its purpose. Far from contradicting Biblical principles, academic and intellectual freedom is mandatory for CHC in its purpose of being a Christian institution in its principles and practices.  These freedoms will be thoroughly observed at CHC.

In the 2008 Senate Committee Report on Allegations and Academic Bias in Universities and Schools  the Committee summarised the definition of academic freedom and its implications as follows:

“Academic freedom has been broadly defined as the right of professional qualified people to discover, teach and publish the truth as they see fit within their fields of competence. It guarantees academics the right to engage in research, and to be free, independent and critical in the way they work.”[1]


All staff, affiliates and volunteers.


Exclusions:       Nil


1.     To provide clarity for staff regarding academic freedom.

2.     To support the Academic Freedom Statement.

3.     To ensure academic freedom and free intellectual inquiry are protected and upheld at CHC.

Policy Provisions:

1.     General

1.1  Academic and intellectual freedom include the rights of all staff, affiliates and volunteers to:

1.1.1       pursue critical and open inquiry without interference or suppression;

1.1.2       teach, promote learning, assess and develop curricula;

1.1.3       undertake research and publish;

1.1.4    participate in a personal capacity in public debates or forums as a recognised expert or a person with specialised knowledge;

1.1.5       hold and express opinions about issues and ideas related to their academic and professional areas, about higher education issues as they affect CHC and about higher education issues more generally;

1.1.6       participate in decision making structures and processes within CHC;

1.1.7       participate in a personal capacity in professional and representative bodies including industrial associations and to engage in community service without fear of harassment, intimidation or unfair treatment;

1.1.8       participate in conferences through presentation and contributions;

1.1.9       express unpopular or controversial views, although this does not mean they have the right to harass vilify or intimidate.

1.2    These rights are linked to the responsibilities of staff to support the role of higher education providers, and CHC in particular, as places of independent learning and thought, where ideas may be put forward and opinion expressed freely.

1.3    Staff, affiliates and volunteers must not suffer any penalties because of the exercise of these rights.

1.4    Notwithstanding the rights created under this policy, staff, affiliates and volunteers remain at all times subject to the law, the terms of their engagement with CHC and CHC’s policies and procedures including the Code of Conduct.

1.5    In the exercise of academic and intellectual freedom, staff, affiliates and volunteers will observe CHC’s Code of Conduct, act in a professional and ethical manner and will not harass, vilify, intimidate or defame CHC or its staff.

1.6    In carrying out research, academic staff have a responsibility to conduct it in accordance with the principles of intellectual rigour, inquiry and research ethics.

1.7    In respect of their study, CHC extends protection and freedom to all students to have an opinion in class and to express this in assessment without interference or suppression.

2.       Appeals

2.1   Any alleged limitations of these rights can be raised through the CHC Staff Grievance Policy.

Supporting Procedures and Guidelines:

Academic Freedom Statement

A Christian Worldview


Relevant Commonwealth/State Legislation Nil



Implementation: CHC Executive
Compliance: CHC Executive
Monitoring and Evaluation: CHC Executive
Development/Review: CHC Executive
Approval Authority: CHC Chief Executive Officer
Interpretation & Advice: CHC Executive



All CHC staff, affiliates and volunteers



Performance Indicators: ·     Number of grievances

·     Number of staff presenting at conferences

·     Comparison to similar policies in other institutions

Other Nil
Definitions and Acronyms: Affiliates – Visiting Academics, Academic title-holders, Industry Fellows, Emeritus Professor, Adjunct and Honorary title-holders and Conjunct appointments

CHC – Christian Heritage College


APPROVAL – section maintained by the Registrar

Approved Date Committee/Board Resolution No. / Minute Ref.
Approved 18/09/2012 CHC Chief Executive Officer 4.1


REVISION HISTORY – section maintained by the Registrar

Revision Reference No. Approved/Rescinded Date Committee/Board Resolution No. / Minute Ref.
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