Background: The distinctive character and traditions of Kenyon College are closely related to the professional lives of its faculty. The first responsibility of the faculty is the quality of academic life.
Through the departments, the advisory committees for interdisciplinary programs, and its standing committees, the faculty determines the content of the curriculum, the various manners in which courses may be conducted, the standards for measuring student performance, the requirements for degrees, and all other matters bearing directly on the academic program. Ordinarily all members of the faculty are expected to be well informed about all the academic programs of the College and to participate in the evaluation of them. The exercise of this responsibility is based upon the broad principles of academic freedom, the vigorous pursuit of knowledge, and the free exchange of ideas.
From its beginnings Kenyon has been a residential college, as much for its faculty and administrators as for its students. Kenyon's concern for the students' personal growth and maturation as well as their intellectual development is reflected in the variety of contexts in which faculty-student exchange take place. Faculty advise students, advise and assist student organizations, and many faculty members meet with students for consultation, discussion, and tutoring outside class and regularly scheduled office hours. Student majors are encouraged to participate in the activities of their departments. Faculty and other members of the community attend lectures, receptions, concerts, and athletic events, as well as student parties and other social gatherings. Faculty are encouraged to eat with students in the dining halls and invite them to their homes. Convocations celebrate major moments in Kenyon's community life, and faculty attend in academic dress.
The preservation of a vital residential college is a shared concern of Kenyon trustees, faculty, and students. In 2000 the trustees formally reaffirmed the mission of Kenyon as a private and independent undergraduate college pursuing the liberal arts in a residential setting. The faculty of Kenyon College is central in sustaining that mission and is committed to the continuation of Kenyon as a residential college.
The College is committed to personal and academic freedom and realizes the importance of tolerance and diversity among faculty members as well as students. It has adopted a number of practices and regulations for guiding the faculty in the exercise of its academic responsibilities. The most important of these are presented below.