The University of Iowa follows guidelines created by the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges in their 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure. Issues addressed by that document include the freedom to:

  • conduct research and publish its results;
  • discuss subjects—including controversial issues that are relevant to the subject— in their classrooms; and
  • speak and write as citizens, free from institutional censorship or discipline, along with the responsibility to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraint, to respect the opinions of others, and to indicate they are not speaking for the institution.

The University of Iowa Operations Manual also addresses issues of academic freedom and responsibility for students, instructors, and staff. According to the manual, while University personnel enjoy the political privileges of citizens, personal political activity—including soliciting support for personal views and opinions— should not occur in the classroom.

The manual specifies the instructor’s obligation to:

  • respect the academic freedom of others;
  • refrain from unprofessional criticism of colleagues, students, or the institution before students and the public;
  • respect the intellectual freedom of students;
  • refrain from imposing upon students’ search for or consideration of diverse or contrary opinions;
  • protect students’ freedom to learn, especially when that freedom is threatened by repressive or disruptive action;
  • maintain a classroom where free and open discussion of content and issues relevant to the course can occur; and
  • respect reasonable decisions by students, based on their exercise of their own intellectual freedom, not to attend part or all of a particular class session.