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Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF)


The Academic Freedom Committee studies and reports to the Division concerning any conditions within or without the University which, in its judgment, may affect the academic freedom. Academic freedom is freedom from duress or sanction aimed at suppressing the intellectual independence, free investigation, and unfettered communication by the academic community -- faculty, librarians, students, and guests (see: UCLA Statement on Academic Freedom). The official policy of the University of California on academic freedom is spelled out in University of California Regulation No. 5 as approved by President Sproul (15 June 1944) and incorporated in the Academic Personnel Manual as APM-010. On February 1, 2020, the University of California also published APM-011, "Academic Freedom, Protection of Professional Standards, and Responsibilities of Non-Faculty Academic Appointees." The Committee maintains liaison with the University Committee on Academic Freedom. For additional resources, see the "Policy & Resources" link on the left.

The Committee proactively identifies issues that threaten academic freedom and deals with specific issues that may be brought to the Committee as they arise. Either faculty members or the administration may bring issues to the Committee. The Committee has been asked by the administration to comment on a variety of issues (e.g., faculty disciplinary procedures, copyright policies, electronic mail policy, and faculty incompetence) to insure continued protection of academic freedom. Issues brought before the Committee by faculty include attacks on the academic freedom to teach a course, as he/she perceived it, the sale of lecture notes on the web, and student evaluations.


The Committee is made up of:

  • Seven Senate faculty members appointed by the Committee on Committees and confirmed by the Legislative Assembly for terms of up to 3 years
  • Four student representatives: 2 graduate and 2 undergraduate are nominated by GSA and USAC respectively, and appointed by the Committee on Committees
  • One of the 7 Senate members is appointed by ConC as Chair (and confirmed by the Legislative Assembly)

Of the seven Senate members, the Committee on Committees traditionally attempts to appoint one member from the Law School and one assistant professor.

The Academic Freedom Committee generally meets quarterly and schedules additional meetings as business dictates.

Interactions with Administration 

The Committee meets as needed with administrators. There is no established interaction pattern with any administrator.

Chair: Barry O'Neill,

Committee Analyst: Lilia Valdez,