Indiana House Bill 1531

DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL

Citations Affected: IC 20-12-76.

Synopsis: Academic bill of rights at state universities. Requires the board of trustees at public colleges and universities to develop guidelines and implement an academic bill of rights.


Effective: July 1, 2005.
Messer

January 18, 2005, read first time and referred to Committee on Education.


Introduced

First Regular Session 114th General Assembly (2005)

HOUSE BILL No. 1531
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A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning education.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana

SOURCE: IC 20-12-76; (05)IN1531.1.1. --> SECTION 1. IC 20-12-76 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2005]:

Chapter 76. Academic Bill of Rights

Sec. 1. The board of trustees of each state educational institution (as defined in IC 20-12-0.5-1) shall develop academic guidelines based on the principles identified in section 2 of this chapter.

Sec. 2. The guidelines required by section 1 of this chapter must be based on the following principles:

(1) Students should be graded solely on the basis of their reasoned answers and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines they study and not on the basis of their political or religious beliefs.

(2) Curricula and reading lists in the humanities and social sciences should respect the uncertainty and unsettled character of all human knowledge in these areas and provide students with dissenting sources and viewpoints. While faculty
members are and should be free to pursue their own findings and perspectives in presenting their views, they should consider and make their students aware of other viewpoints. Academic disciplines should welcome a diversity of approaches to unsettled questions.

(3) Exposing students to the spectrum of significant scholarly viewpoints on the subjects examined in their courses is a major responsibility of faculty. Faculty shall not use their courses or their positions for the purpose of political, ideological, religious, or anti-religious indoctrination.

(4) The selection of speakers, allocation of funds for speakers programs, and other student activities must observe the principles of academic freedom and promote intellectual pluralism.

(5) An environment conducive to the civil exchange of ideas is an essential component of a free university, and the obstruction of invited campus speakers, the destruction of campus literature, or any other effort to obstruct this exchange shall not be tolerated.

(6) All faculty shall be hired, fired, promoted, and considered for tenure on the basis of their competence and appropriate knowledge in the field of their expertise, and, in the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts, with a view toward fostering a plurality of methodologies and perspectives. A faculty member shall not be hired, fired, or denied promotion or tenure solely on the basis of the faculty member's political or religious beliefs.

(7) No faculty member shall be excluded from tenure, search and hiring committees on the basis of the faculty member's political or religious beliefs.

(8) Knowledge advances when individual scholars are left free to reach their own conclusions about which methods, facts, and theories have been validated by research. Academic institutions and professional societies formed to advance knowledge within an area of research, maintain the integrity of the research process, and organize the professional lives of related researchers serve as indispensable venues within which scholars circulate research findings and debate their interpretation. To perform these functions adequately, academic institutions and professional societies shall maintain a posture of organizational neutrality with respect to the substantive disagreements that divide researchers on questions within or outside their fields of inquiry.