Academic freedom and responsibility are the liberty and obligation to study, investigate, present, interpret, and discuss facts and ideas concerning all branches and fields of learning. A University faculty member is an individual with citizens' rights who enjoys full constitutional freedom, as a member of a learned profession, and as a representative of an educational institution. Faculty members may speak or write on any subject of interest. Nevertheless, it should be made clear that when acting as private citizens that faculty speak, write, and act as individuals and not as representatives of the institution.

Academic freedom entails professional responsibilities. Faculty members of the University shall promote an atmosphere of free inquiry.

In the solution of certain difficult problems, all members of the academic community must note their responsibilities to society, to the institution, and to each other, and must recognize that, at times, the interests of each may vary and will have to be reconciled. The use of intimidation, harassment of any kind, or other disruptive acts which interfere with ordinary institutional activities or with the freedom of all members of the academic community to pursue their rightful goals, are the antithesis of academic freedom and responsibility.

Examples of conduct that does not enjoy the protection of academic freedom include, but are not limited to, the following: unreasonable departure from course descriptions; disruption of the orderly administration of USAO; publicly belittling colleagues; and breaches of Faculty Responsibilities and Ethics.