Academic Freedom in Research Policy

Policy Number: AS-2102-2007
Policy Title: Academic Freedom in Research
Owner: Vice President – Technology, Apprenticeship & Corporate Training
Approved By: Senior Leadership Team
Effective: September 12, 2007

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Academic freedom to undertake research is fundamental to the realization of the College’s commitment to excellence, and the vision, mission, and values articulated in the Strategic Plan, provided that such research is undertaken in an academically responsible manner.


Academic Freedom refers to the freedom of individual staff members to conduct research in their field of expertise, and publish the results of this research within the confines of College policies.

Academic Responsibility comprises honesty, integrity, accountability and a commitment to scholarly and scientific rigour in the course of engaging in research and publishing the results of that research.


This policy clarifies the rights and responsibilities of staff engaged in research in the College.


This policy applies to all staff members engaged in research, whether as part of their employment with the College, or undertaken by the staff member independently from his/her employment but under a research contract facilitated by the College.


Policy Statements

  1. All staff members who have been assigned to conduct research or who are conducting research under an arrangement facilitated by the College are entitled to carry out such research and to publish such research in an atmosphere that is free from harassment, discrimination or undue interference, provided that such research or publication is academically responsible and does not contravene any law.
  2. All members of the Mohawk College community, including staff and students, have an obligation to support and protect the fundamental principle of academic freedom in research and to work collaboratively to provide an environment of tolerance and mutual respect.
  3. The right to academic freedom is accompanied by the equally important concept of academic responsibility. Academic freedom does not relieve any member of the College from his/her obligations or from any duties inherent in the roles associated with the teaching and learning process or the Ontario Human Rights Code, College policies, or any legislation or laws which protect the rights of individuals.
  4. It is recognized that all staff members of Mohawk have rights as citizens. In speaking or writing as citizens, however, as employees of the College, they must make every effort to indicate that the opinions presented in research they have conducted and published are their own and are not to be interpreted as the official position of the College, except where such research has been conducted or published under the direction of the College.
  5. The College will expect that all those involved with research activities, whether under the direction of the College or with the facilitation of the College, will do so in accordance with the highest standards of integrity, accountability and responsibility. The College will strive to provide an environment conducive to
  6. this goal and will actively promote programs for the education of researchers, scholars, trainees and staff.
  7. This Policy is the College’s official position on academic freedom and is intended to meet the policy criteria specified by the Tri-Council funding of research.



The Vice President – Technology, Apprenticeship & Corporate Training is responsible for monitoring this policy according to the schedule established by the Director, Corporate Services or more frequently in response to feedback from the college community.