Constitution & Bylaws

Bylaws of Northern Illinois University


This article provides opportunities through which faculty members can seek adjudication of allegations of violations of their academic freedom by other members of the university administration, faculty, or staff. Opportunities for adjudication of allegations regarding unfair treatment during the operation of university personnel procedures are provided in Article 7 of these bylaws. Opportunities for adjudication of allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, handicapped status, religious views or affiliation, political views or affiliation, or other factors unrelated to professional performance are provided under Section 7.2.5 of these bylaws, and may be addressed by the provisions of Article 11 as well.

10.1 In all cases in which a faculty member alleges violation of his or her academic freedom, the burden of proof that such a violation has occurred shall lie with the faculty member, who shall have responsibility for making a case in accordance with the procedures stipulated.

10.2 If the faculty member believes that his or her academic freedom has been violated, whether by an administrator, other faculty or students, or by majority decision of an elected faculty committee, the faculty member shall assemble all available evidence which sustains such an allegation. An attempt shall first be made to resolve the issue through informal procedures, including conferences with those alleged to have committed the violation, with the appropriate dean, and with the executive vice president and provost.

10.3 If such procedures fail to resolve the issue, the complainant shall submit to the University Council Personnel Committee a written statement including (1) the names of those charged with the academic freedom violation, (2) a list of specific charges with reference to each person charged, and (3) a request for a hearing. The University Council Personnel Committee shall meet with the complainant and consider the evidence. Thereafter it shall determine whether sufficient grounds exist to warrant a hearing. No officer of academic administration shall participate in this determination. The decision of the University Council Personnel Committee shall be final.

10.4 If the University Council Personnel Committee determines that sufficient grounds do exist, it shall grant the faculty member the proceedings set forth above under section 7.3.2(C), Step 3: The Hearing. In those proceedings, the burden of proof that decisions or actions have violated the complainant's academic freedom shall lie with the complainant.

10.5 If the final decision supports the complainant, the body reaching that decision shall recommend such redress as it deems suitable.

Amendment approved by University Council on 05/05/2004.