The university offers a course in ancient Greek civilizations as developed by Professor Gooding. Dr. Gooding designed the course in a visual and discussion format, where students are presented with topical art from ancient Greek times and encouraged to discuss how the art relates to modern day. One of the major themes of the artwork included nude images and a discussion regarding the changing view of the human body. Several students in the class complained to university administrators, stating the nude images and discussions made them feel uncomfortable.
Probably not, unless the discussions are irrelevant to the subject matter or create a hostile classroom environment violating university policy. An essential component of free expression on a university campus is the principle of academic freedom, which permits faculty to engage in their scholarly pursuits of teaching without fear of censorship or retaliation. Faculty are responsible for creating the content and presenting the substance of academic courses at a university. Unless the information presented is biased, unrelated to the subject matter, or of little academic value, academic freedom permits faculty to present the substance of their course in a manner that they believe best achieves the university’s educational mission (within the limits of university policy and the law).
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