6.03  S05  Integrity in the Learning Environment

Mark Wade Lieu, Ohlone College, Executive Committee

Whereas, Senate Bill 5 (introduced December 6, 2004), also known as “The Student Bill of Rights,” proposes that “teachers should not take unfair advantage of a student’s immaturity by indoctrinating him or her with the teacher’s own opinions” and specifies that “curricula and reading lists in the humanities and social sciences shall respect the uncertainty and unsettled character of all human knowledge in these areas, and provide students with dissenting sources and viewpoints”;

Whereas, Such legislation, which was introduced in 19 other states last year and previously in California as SB1335 (also known as “The Academic Bill of Rights”), denigrates the abilities of students of all political, ideological, and religious backgrounds to synthesize and critically  evaluate the information received in the classroom and undermines the integrity of the learning environment by usurping and impugning the role and expertise of the instructor in the determination of course content; and

Whereas, The ethics of our profession as educators requires that all teachers foster in students a maturity and independence of mind by providing within the classroom and college an environment where students are free to express a wide range of viewpoints within the standards of scholarly inquiry;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges reaffirm its opposition to proposals that abrogate academic freedom as defined by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and that attempt to undermine the integrity of the learning environment, whether they be under the title of “The Student Bill of Rights,” “The Academic Bill of Rights” or any other name;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges reaffirm its strong commitment to First Amendment guarantees of free expression and debate for both students and faculty as a vital part of scholastic inquiry and the furtherance of knowledge and its dissemination;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges oppose any form of indoctrination and ideological intimidation; and  

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges encourage colleges to inform students of their rights and grievance policies and procedures available to them at their colleges.

MSU    Disposition:  Local Senates

Assigned to:  President

[The Academic Senate acknowledges a CSU San Marcos Student Association statement as a source during the development of this resolution.]