WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York has referred consideration of the "Academic Bill of Rights" to two of its standing committees, the Student Life Committee and the Academic Standards Committee, and
WHEREAS, the "Academic Bill of Rights" would introduce inappropriate, possibly illegal, external political considerations into SUNY personnel decisions, student group funding decisions, and the creation of course content, and
WHEREAS, current policies and regulations of the State of New York, the State University, and its constituent campuses, including Article XI, Title I of the Policies of the Board of Trustees and the University Faculty Senate's "Statement of Professional Responsibilities and Rights" (Governance Handbook), protect and promote academic freedom for both faculty and students, and
WHEREAS, the University Faculty Senate of the State University of New York remains committed to upholding and preserving the principles of academic freedom and faculty responsibility as contained in the 1940 American Association of University Professors' Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure with the 1970 Interpretive Comments; and
WHEREAS, the University Faculty Senate reaffirms the responsibility of faculty to develop and establish hiring criteria for faculty positions; that these criteria must derive exclusively from the professional standards set forth by scholarly/ professional organizations and by campus faculty (according to the established shared governance processes of the University); and
WHEREAS, the University Faculty Senate reaffirms the distinctive "obligation" of the faculty to "participate significantly in the initiation, development and implementation of the educational program," (Article X, Policies of the Board of Trustees), and
WHEREAS, the University Faculty Senate supports the AAUP March 4,2004, statement, "Controversy in the Classroom," including the assertion "that instructors should avoid the persistent intrusion of matter, controversial or not, that has no bearing on the subject of instruction."
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the University Faculty Senate of SUNY strongly oppose the proposed "Academic Bill of Rights" and urges the Board of Trustees to reject it as policy, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the President of University Faculty Senate of SUNY distribute this resolution to the Chancellor, the SUNY Board of Trustees, Campus Governance Leaders and Organizations and SUNY Presidents.