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Skidmore College
Committee on Academic Freedom and Rights (CAFR)

Committee on Academic Freedom and Rights (CAFR)

Function: To serve as guardian of the academic freedom and rights of all members of the academic community; to receive inquiries and complaints concerning academic freedom and rights and to consider formal charges of violations of academic freedom and rights from any faculty member, student, administrator, trustee, or from ATC and PC; to advise and make appropriate recommendations.

A subcommittee of CAFR consisting of the three tenured faculty, the Tenure Review Subcommittee (TRS), reviews negative tenure recommendations at the request of the candidates. The TRS may consult with the ATC, members of the candidate's department, and/or the Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs, if necessary. In the event that the TRS determines that a tenure case requires reconsideration, the TRS will convene the Tenure Appeal Committee to reconsider the case. The TRS is free to discuss with the administration or with the Chair of ATC issues raised by a candidate that — although not warranting an appeal — nonetheless might improve future tenure deliberations. If the complaint involves alleged harassment or discrimination in violation of the college’s policies as outlined in Part Six of the Faculty Handbook, in addition to carrying out the TRS investigation, the TRS will notify the Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs following the procedures set forth in Part Six, Article VII [Procedures for Resolving Complaints of Harassment or Discrimination against Faculty Members]. Members of the TRS may not participate in the tenure cases of candidates with primary affiliation in their own departments/programs, and a substitution will be made by the remainder of the committee from the most recent former members of CAFR with tenure.

CAFR meets annually, and whenever necessary in the pursuit of its functions, with the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Revisions to Part One of the Faculty Handbook, Articles I–VIII, XIV, XII through XVIII are reviewed by CAFR for its recommendations prior to a faculty vote.