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Institutions of higher learning exist for the common good, and protecting the academic freedom of our faculty is essential to maintaining that responsibility. At the request of [then, Interim] President Welsh, a task force has been charged with developing recommendations to create university procedures that protect faculty and their academic freedom in pursuing knowledge, educating students and reinforcing our Aggie core values.

The task force includes the following faculty and campus community members from across Texas A&M University along with the shareholding entities they represent:


While the task force initiates their review, effective immediately (Aug. 2, 2023), any office that receives a faculty-related complaint and any recommendations for associated actions, including investigations, recommendations for leave or sanctions, must send a notification to Faculty Affairs. This is to ensure that Faculty Affairs can advise academic administrators about university processes and their responsibilities and ensure faculty members are aware of the formal processes and their rights to appeal. University processes have already been changed so that offer letters to potential faculty are not official until signed by the vice president for faculty affairs.

The task force is specifically charged with reviewing existing Texas A&M University System and Texas A&M University policy and procedures on faculty protections in cases related to academic freedom, investigations of alleged faculty misconduct, administrative sanctions of faculty members, directed administrative leave or suspension of a faculty member and faculty hiring, and making recommendations on necessary additions or revisions.

At minimum, the task force will:

  1. add a section to Rule 12.01.99.M1, consistent with Texas A&M System Policy 12.01, that specifies the procedures for leave with pay during an investigation, including the conditions that warrant a leave and procedures for appeal;
  2. recommend processes for how complaints against faculty members are directed within the university;
  3. review current hiring processes to ensure that candidate offers are grounded in the best interests of faculty success and the institution;
  4. identify procedures for directing faculty to support for questions and issues they encounter;
  5. develop a faculty code of conduct that defines unprofessional behavior and distinguishes this from behavior that is professional within an academic environment;
  6. recommend university guidelines and training for department heads/supervisors regarding how to respond to complaints about faculty behavior; and
  7. identify best practices to include within departments and/or colleges/schools for faculty support.

Task Force Update Tracker