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Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Faculty Rights

Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Faculty Rights

Committee Description

The Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Faculty Rights (SCAFFR) reports to the Academic Senate on issues related to academic freedom, faculty rights, and academic grievances. The committee keeps fully informed on the most important controversies on academic freedom and faculty rights in higher education, surveys problems of academic freedom and faculty rights at the University of Utah, and informs the Senate on these matters in its annual report.


The Academic Senate elects twelve tenure-line or career-line faculty members to the committee for three-year terms. Meets as needed, at least once per semester for 90 minutes.

Committee Chair 2023-24: Helene Shugart


Powers & Duties

  • Investigates issues of academic freedom at the university
  • Reviews, determines merit, and advises in response to grievances brought by members of the University academic community
  • Hears academic freedom matters referred by the president of the university or the Consolidated Hearing Committee
  • Oversees the Code of Faculty Rights & Responsibilities
  • Submits annual report to the Academic Senate

Current Roster

SCAFFR Process Information

Review University Policy 6-002, Section 11 and the SCAFFR Guidance Document. Below is an excerpt:

II: Negotiated Resolution of Grievances. Before proceeding to the SCAFFR or other venue with any grievance by formal complaint, members of the university community are encouraged to pursue an informal resolution to all conflicts. For faculty members, the Campus Faculty Ombudsman or Health Sciences Faculty Ombudsman can assist in a number of ways:
• Clarification of University policies on academic freedom and faculty rights and responsibilities: The Ombudsman can help interpret these policies. Relevant University Policies, including those listed in Part I, are found on the University Regulations website at
• Fact finding: At your request, in consultation with the appropriate Associate Vice President, the Ombudsman can undertake a fact-finding effort to determine the customary and appropriate expectations for faculty within specific academic administrative units.
• Formal or informal mediation: At your request, the Ombudsman can also initiate either informal mediation (directed by the Ombudsman) or formal mediation (directed by a professional mediator) between the parties.

The next step is to review and fill in the SCAFFR Complaint Form

Annual Reports