Academic Freedom and Professional Responsibility  

 Last revised:  June 22, 2020
Southeastern Green Seal


Southeastern Louisiana University is committed to the principle of academic freedom and to the concomitant principle that this freedom carries with it the special obligation to exercise academic responsibility and to observe professional ethics.

Recognizing the fact that the common good is dependent upon the free search for truth and its free expression, the University endorses the principle that the teacher is entitled to full freedom in research and publication of results, subject to adequate performance of the other academic duties. The teacher is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing the subject, but should be careful not to introduce into the teaching controversial matters unrelated to the subject or to insist upon the adoption by others of any particular point of view as authoritative in controversial issues. Profanity, off-color jokes, and similar forms of vulgarity, as well as racist and sexist comments, will not be tolerated.

Recognizing the fact that the university teacher is a citizen as well as a member of a learned profession and an educational institution, the University endorses the principle that academic freedom includes the right of a member of the academic staff to exercise in speaking, writing, and action outside the University the rights of an American citizen, but emphasizes that this special position does not decrease the responsibility and accountability to the University, the state, and the nation. As a person of learning and as a member of the educational institution, the teacher should remember that the public may judge the profession and the institution by his/her expressions and actions. Therefore, at all times when speaking and acting as a private citizen, the teacher should be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and make every effort to indicate that he/she is not a spokesperson for the institution.

Regardless of the venue or medium, the University will not tolerate maliciously offensive or hateful comments, statements or assertions that are prejudicial toward an individual's or group of people's race, age, disability status, gender, gender identity/expression, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, or any other legally protected groups under federal, state, or local law.