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Administration & Finance

Policy Number: 101.4

Policy: Rights and Responsibilities of Academic Personnel

Date Adopted: 07/99

Revision Date: 08/04

References: MUS 302, 702.1; CBA

Approved By: George M. Dennison, President

All faculty employed by The University of Montana shall enjoy certain rights and responsibilities. Faculty subject to the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the University Faculty Association will be governed by the provisions of that contract. The faculty of the School of Law will be governed by the rules established in that unit. All other faculty will be governed by this policy to the fullest extent applicable regarding the terms and conditions of employment.


The concept of academic freedom must be accompanied by an equally demanding concept of academic responsibility. The concern of the University and its faculty for academic freedom safeguards must extend equally to requiring responsible service, consistent with the objective of the University. Every faculty member is at one and the same time (1) a teacher, (2) a member of the faculty of the University, and (3) a scholar. By virtue of a faculty position in the University, the individual shares all three of these functions, each of which is of great importance.

As a teacher, every faculty member is responsible for the effective instruction, including evaluation, of students at the University. In keeping with this all faculty members shall prepare a syllabus for each course they teach. A current copy of each syllabus will be filed with the Registrar, who will have it placed in a central file in the Mansfield Library. Aspects of effective instruction include teaching classes in accordance with official descriptions and meeting classes in accordance with published schedules at on-campus locations, off-campus locations germane to the subject matter, or at other locations approved by the dean or the dean’s designee. No classes may be taught off-campus or at unscheduled locations at any time by any faculty member without prior approval of the appropriate dean or the dean’s designee.

The faculty member should have both a depth and breadth of knowledge in the discipline and be able to communicate this knowledge effectively to the students. The faculty member should maintain an active interest in the advances and current thinking in the subject being taught and be able to relate such information to teaching in an organized manner through incorporation into course materials. Moreover, the faculty member should maintain a critical attitude toward teaching and should strive continuously to improve it. Obviously, the faculty member shall avoid persistent intrusion of totally unrelated material into classroom presentations. The effective teacher feels and exhibits enthusiasm for his/her subject and creates an environment that stimulates imaginative thinking.
Faculty members should have a deep interest in the students’ progress and welfare, which includes counseling and advising assigned advisees as well as other students on their program of study and other academic matters, and maintaining a responsible, professional relationship with the students. The faculty member will carefully ensure equal application of class standards and requirements. Faculty shall preserve the records necessary to compute final grades for one academic term including records of student attendance. For one full semester following the semester a student receives a grade, faculty will retain all academic course materials used as the basis for a student’s semester grade (papers, tests and/or other written or printed materials), which are not returned to the student. Fall Semester grade records and course materials will be kept until the end of the next Spring Semester; while Spring Semester and any summer course grade records and course materials will be kept until the end of the next Fall Semester. Each faculty member has obligations and responsibilities to assist in the proper administration of University affairs. Faculty members may be called upon to serve on committees, attend University functions, and render public service in the areas of professional competence.

As a scholar, the person is responsible to the University and to society to keep informed about advances in knowledge and to engage in an active program of research or creative activities as judged by peers. This activity, though in general not formally scheduled, is nevertheless essential. In large measure the welfare of society depends on it. Although the artist faculty member may be a scholar, the faculty member should have the unqualified option of being a productive artist. Creative work in any field, such as literature, music, art, and drama, through its contributions to our cultural life, ranks equally with research and scholarly publications.

These functions and responsibilities should not be thought of as mutually exclusive, but as overlapping and complementary. Thus, active participation in the work of learned societies is related to a person's work as both scholar and member of the faculty. Similarly, preparation of papers for publication, which is an example of a person's function as a scholar, may well grow out of the faculty member’s work as a teacher.


The University of Montana has had a long tradition of, and a deep commitment to, academic freedom. The welfare and strength of the University and of society at large depends upon the free search for truth and its free expression. To this end The University of Montana shall recognize and protect full freedom of inquiry, teaching, research, discussion, study, publication, and, for artists, the creation and exhibition of works of art, without hindrance, restriction, equivocation, and/or reprisal. This right extends to other facets of campus life to include the right of a faculty member to speak on general educational questions or about the administration and operation of The University of Montana and the Montana University System. The right of academic freedom shall be the right of every faculty member whether tenured or untenured.
This policy recognizes that each faculty member is also a citizen and a member of a learned profession, as well as an employee of an educational institution. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, the faculty member shall be free from institutional censorship or discipline. When acting as a private citizen, in writing, speech, or actions, the faculty member has an obligation to make it clear that the action, speech, or writing is as an individual and not as a representative of The University of Montana or the Montana University System.


All faculty members, as noted above, shall be accorded the protection of the procedure outlined in Section 21.000 of the CBA.

No Applicable Procedure

Administration & Finance

The University of Montana-Missoula

University Hall 126

406.243.4676 / fax: 406.243.5537