Intellectual Pluralism

What is Intellectual Pluralism?

The proper expression of both academic rights and responsibilities is required for a reasoned and respectful debate that explores a diversity of views and perspectives about complex, and often controversial, topics. This is the essence of Intellectual Pluralism. The University of Missouri supports the American Council on Education’s Statement on Academic Rights and Responsibilities.

MU’s Statement and Philosophy

Our distinct mission, as Missouri’s only state-supported member of the Association of American Universities, is to provide all Missourians the benefits of a world-class research university. We are stewards and builders of a priceless state resource, a unique physical infrastructure and scholarly environment in which our tightly interlocked missions of teaching, research and service work together on behalf of all citizens. Students work side by side with some of the world’s best faculty to advance the arts and humanities, the sciences, and the professions. Scholarship and teaching are daily driven by a sense of public service—the obligation to produce and disseminate knowledge that will improve the quality of life in the state, the nation and the world. [Mission Statement]

Respect for one’s self and for others is the foundation of honor and the basis of integrity. A hallmark of our community is respect—for the process by which we seek truths and for those who engage in that process. Such respect is essential for nurturing the free and open discourse, exploration, and creative expression that characterize a university. Respect results in dedication to individual as well as collective expressions of truth and honesty. Respect is demonstrated by a commitment to act ethically, to welcome difference, and to engage in open exchange about both ideas and decisions. [Statement of Values]

We are committed to Intellectual Pluralism in its many dimensions – political, cultural, religious, international, disciplinary, economic, lifestyles – and to encouraging and supporting robust debates over matters of academic interest. [Intellectual Pluralism report to the Board of Curators, April 2007]