Academic Freedom and the Inclusive and Equitable Classroom
University of South Florida Libraries and Academic Freedom
The primary responsibilities of a university library are to support the curriculum and to maintain resources for faculty and student research, publication, and development.
The USF Libraries support the academic and professional endeavors of faculty, students, and staff across three USF campuses and provide access to resources that facilitate active engagement with an expansive array of topics, subjects, and perspectives. As faculty and students comprise our largest and most immediate user audiences, resources collected and made accessible by the USF Libraries are managed in concert with the needs and interests of these populations. USF faculty and students foster innovation and intellectual discourse and require equitable access to information. The resources we provide directly support both faculty and student success. Our Collection managementguidelines can be found here: https://lib.usf.edu/collections-and-discovery/guidelines/
USF Libraries' collections are developed and managed in accordance with the policies, procedures, guidelines, and principles of the American Library Association (ALA), Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Society of American Archivists (SAA), and the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the ACRL. Our collection management guidelines align with statements published by these groups, and we strive to uphold the values of our leading professional organizations in the conduct of our work. For these reasons, collection managers hold professional degrees and certifications recognized by these organizations and work across library units to identify and select for acquisition the resources needed for the USF community. Decisions to remove materials from the libraries' collections are based on professional assessment and rely on non-biased evaluations of both condition and use.
Specific collections may be administered according to the guiding principles of other organizations, such as the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). YALSA believes in the importance of "representational diversity" and champions resources that equitably and inclusively reflect and serve marginalized communities. USF is ranked in the top 10% of overall diversity and in the top 15% of racial-ethnic diversity. Library collections that address and speak to these communities are an important part of contributing to the University's diversity initiatives and ensuring equitable and inclusive support of faculty and students in these categories.
United Faculty of Florida, University of South Florida Collective Bargaining Agreement
Every full time faculty member (including adjunct faculty) is protected by the UFF-USF Collective Bargaining Agreement which acts as the contract between all in-unit faculty and the university. More information can be found here. In-unit faculty do not have to be active members of the union to be protected by the CBA. The CBA can be found here.
Article 5 in the CBA states:
Academic Freedom and Responsibility
5.1 The University of South Florida affirms the principles of academic freedom and responsibility, which are rooted in a conception of the University as a community of scholars united in the pursuit of truth and wisdom in an atmosphere of tolerance and freedom.
5.2 Academic Freedom is the freedom of an employee to discuss all relevant matters in the classroom, to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression, to speak freely on all matters of university governance, and to speak, write, or act as an individual, all without institutional discipline or restraint.
5.3 On the part of an employee, Academic Responsibility implies the honest performance of academic duties and obligations, the commitment to support the responsible exercise of freedom by others, and the candor to make it clear that the individual, while he or she may be freely identified as an employee of the University, he/she is not speaking as a representative of the University in matters of public interest.
5.4 On the part of the Administration, Academic Responsibility implies a commitment actively to foster within the University a climate favorable to responsible exercise of freedom, by adherence to principles of shared governance, which require that in the development of academic policies and processes, the professional judgments of employees are of primary importance.