1.10.1 The University recognises the open and honest exchange of diverse views as central to its Mission within the Catholic intellectual tradition, and as a university. The parties covered by the Agreement will uphold the principle and practice of intellectual freedom in accordance with the highest ethical, professional and legal standards.

1.10.2 This clause sets out the University's commitment to and protection of intellectual freedom. All staff are entitled to exercise intellectual freedom in accordance with and subject to this clause 1.10 in its entirety. An exercise of intellectual freedom is not misconduct or serious misconduct under the provisions of this Agreement or under any University policy, procedure or Code of Conduct, or the contract of employment.

1.10.3 Intellectual freedom means:

  1. the freedom of all staff to teach, discuss, and research and to disseminate and publish the result of their research, including the right to publish that research in outlets based on their academic judgement and interest;
  2. the freedom of all staff to engage in intellectual inquiry, to express their opinions and beliefs (including whether those opinions are controversial or unpopular), and to contribute to public debate, in relation to their subjects of study, research and expertise;
  3. the freedom of all staff to express their opinions about the University;
  4. the freedom of all staff to make lawful public comment on any issue in their personal capacities. However, a staff member must not represent their personal views as being those of the University;
  5. the freedom of all staff to participate in representative, professional or academic bodies.

1.10.4 In exercising intellectual freedom, staff must:

  1. respect the rights of others to express and exchange views;
  2. not engage in bullying, harassment or vilification, or unlawful discrimination;
  3. not use lawful speech which a reasonable person would regard, in the circumstances, as (a) likely to humiliate or intimidate other persons and (b) intended to have either or both of those effects; or
  4. not breach a staff member's obligations:
    1. regarding confidentiality of:
      A. "personal information" (within the meaning of applicable privacy legislation) of other staff, students, and/or third parties, including but not limited to personal information provided as part of a complaint or investigation process;
      B. commercial in confidence information;
      C. information, the disclosure of which would breach the University's obligations to third parties;
      D. information, the disclosure of which would breach the University's intellectual property rights and obligations or which would prejudice the University's ability to obtain intellectual property rights in respect of its discoveries or inventions, including patent protections;
    2. regarding health and safety;
    3. to comply with regulatory requirements (e.g. ethics, research integrity, accreditation requirements); or
    4. to comply with any reasonably proportionate direction given by the University requiring confidentiality to be maintained where the direction is given to protect the integrity of a formal investigation or disciplinary process. The direction may include keeping confidential the existence of such a process where this is reasonably necessary in the circumstances.

1.10.5 This clause 1.10 does not prevent the University from assessing a staff member's quality of academic work, for example, at probation, promotion, progress discussions, and regarding research standards and research misconduct.

Page last updated on 08/02/2023

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