Academic Freedom

There are four major tenets of the concept of academic freedom.

The first tenet is teaching: the right to teach as appropriate to the content. This includes control over how you give a class, how you evaluate students, and the grades that are assigned to students.

The second tenet is the performance and ownership of scholarly work. This includes ownership of intellectual property that are produced by you as a Humber employee. The intellectual property policy and procedure for Humber is found here.

The next two tenets relate to freedom of expression. The ‘intramural’ right to freedom of expression relates to the right to be critical of your own institution. The ‘extramural’ right relates to being able to participate in society without the employer taking action.

Currently, Ontario college teachers have no academic freedom rights in the collective agreement. The only clause in the contract that remotely deals with the Academic Freedom concept is the Copyright Article (Article 13). Except as may be otherwise mutually agreed between the employee and the College, a work commissioned by the College, or produced pursuant to the employee’s normal administrative or professional duties with the College, shall be and remain the property of the College. Other works produced by an employee shall be and remain the property of the employee.

Some additional information:

For faculty who are considering sabbaticals, carefully review your sabbatical letter before signing it. Seek advice if you are concerned that you are being asked to voluntarily assign your intellectual property rights to Humber for the work that is produced during your sabbatical leave.