Academic Freedom and Faculty Rights Pertaining to
Sponsored Research

AS-3058-12/FA (Rev)

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) reaffirm the importance of academic freedom in the conduct of faculty research and in the dissemination of reports on that research; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU encourage individual campus Academic Senates to consider developing policies that safeguard the rights of faculty to engage in independent research, to share the data collected in their research (subject to applicable privacy regulations) and to publish the results of that research without undue constraints imposed by research sponsors or other financially interested bodies; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU request that the campus Academic Senates also review their extant policies concerning institutional and faculty financial conflict of interest to ensure that those policies apply to all disciplines and that conflict-of-interest disclosure statements be publicly available; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the Board of Trustees, the Office of the Chancellor, campus Presidents, and campus Senate Chairs.

RATIONALE: As noted in recent publications by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), commercialization of the academy continues apace. That commercialization often has implications for faculty research. Washburn’s recent publication provides examples of the sometimes chilling impact of commercialization on research. As the CSU seeks to increase the amount of externally funded research conducted by faculty, it is important that campuses develop policies that protect the faculty’s ability to conduct research. ASCSU and the campus Academic Senates have developed Intellectual Property Policies that provide guidance for negotiation of intellectual property rights between faculty and institution. Those policies will also need to address the dissemination of academic knowledge in an environment where commercial interest may be present.


Washburn, J. (2011, Jan.-Feb.). Academic freedom and the corporate university. Academe, 97 (1). Retrieved from

Blumenstyk, G. (2011, November 1). Universities continue to increase start-ups and commercialization of research. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

Approved – March 15-16, 2012


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