Since the vitality of a society is energized and sustained by ideas, and since the nature of a college involves the examination and discussion of those ideas, a policy of academic freedom protecting such free examination and expression historically has been deemed necessary.

To this end, the Merced Community College District is committed to free discussion and open inquiry. We recognize that the freedom to think, to read, to speak, and to question is necessary for the development of an informed citizenry.

This freedom shall be integral to the philosophy of this District and is guaranteed to students, faculty, administration, and staff. This freedom is both a right and a responsibility. As a right, it assures unimpeded research, study, and inquiry. It also assures the right to free expression in both public and private settings, including the right to disagree.

As a responsibility, it obligates members of the college community to present, discuss, and interpret ideas, knowledgeably, fairly, and objectively, with openness to the ideas of others, with the intention to stimulate independent thinking, and with sensitivity to the special situations of students.

To ensure these principles of intellectual freedom, the administration and the Board of Trustees will demonstrate their support by actively working to foster this freedom.