Okefenokee Technical College

Okefenokee Technical College 2013-2014 Catalog

Academic Freedom

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Okefenokee Technical College 2013-2014 Catalog

Okefenokee Technical College supports the concept of academic freedom. In the development of knowledge, research endeavors, and creative activities, faculty and students must be free to cultivate a spirit of inquiry and scholarly criticism. Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom regarding discussion of their course information. Caution must be used not to introduce ideas and materials unrelated to the course. Faculty and students must be able to examine ideas in an atmosphere of freedom and confidence and to participate as responsible citizens in community affairs.

Faculty members must fulfill their responsibilities to society and to their profession by manifesting competence, professional discretion, and good citizenship. They will be free from institutional censorship or discipline, when speaking or writing as citizens. As professional educators, faculty members must be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and make every effort to indicate they are not speaking for the institution.

The principles of academic freedom shall not prevent the institution from making proper efforts to ensure the best possible instruction for all students in accordance with the objectives of the institution.

To implement the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Policy IV. C. Academic Freedom, OTC establishes the following procedural guidelines:

Any faculty member or student who believes his/her academic freedom has been violated may present a written complaint to the Vice President for Academic Affairs within seven (7) business days of the alleged incident. If the complaint is against the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the written complaint shall be filed directly with the President. If the complaint is against the President, the written complaint must be submitted in accordance with TCSG Procedure III. M. 1. Complaint Resolution.

A formal written complaint must contain:

  1. Name
  2. Date
  3. Brief description of incident
  4. Relief requested
  5. Signature

Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the complaint, an informal resolution will be attempted. If an informal resolution is not made, an investigation will be conducted and completed within 15 business days by the procedure administrator.

At the conclusion of the investigation, a written response will be made presenting the findings of fact, investigative conclusions, and any recommended actions, if appropriate.

The complainant has the right to file a written appeal to the OTC President within five (5) business days of receiving the response. If the complaint is against the President, the appeal will be filed with the Assistant Commissioner, Technical Education. The appeal must state the reasons for disagreement with the decision of the procedure administrator. At the OTC President’s discretion, the appeal may be evaluated in one of the following ways:

  • The President may review the information provided in the appeal and by the procedure administrator and make a final decision; or
  • The President may appoint a cross-functional committee comprised of five (5) members, including one chair, to make the final decision.

The decision of either the President or the cross-functional committee shall be made within 30 days of receipt by the President of the appeal. The decision of the President or the cross-functional committee is final.

Retaliation in any form against individuals filing a grievance is prohibited and will subject the offender to disciplinary action. In many instances it is also a violation of state and federal law. An individual who initiates a fraudulent or bad faith claim or charge shall also be subject to disciplinary action.