Statement on Academic Freedom

The Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS) affirms that academic freedom is essential for institutions of higher education, and that it is the policy of the IBS that both faculty and students be free to express their views on academic matters freely, though within the confines of common courtesy. In other words, the views of others are to be treated with respect, and disagreements are to be addressed with reason and information. At IBS academic freedom means that faculty and students may engage in research, scholarship, or other creative work in order to expand knowledge, to publish research findings, to teach and to learn in an atmosphere of free inquiry and free expression.

Academic freedom, however, entails certain duties and responsibilities. Faculty members are free to conduct research, write, and engage in other creative work, and then to publish or otherwise make the results of their work public. Faculty are also entitled to teach and discuss topics relevant to their faculty assignments with the goal of educating their students. In the same way, students are free to conduct research, write and engage in other creative work in pursuit of their studies. Freedom in research, writing, publishing and teaching requires a commitment to accuracy and integrity on the part of both faculty and students.

Faculty and students are members of the public, members of a learned profession, and members of an educational institution. When a faculty member or student speaks or writes as a citizen, he or she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline. Both faculty members and students should remember, however, that the public may judge the profession and institution by their utterances. Both faculty and students should always seek to be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and be clear that he or she is not speaking for the institution.