As the subject matter of Principle III is more complex than that of I and II, a clarification may be useful. The principle does not prohibit:
a) academics from taking political stances,
b) university clubs, societies or research centres from taking political stances,
c) universities from making investment and other executive decisions on the basis of political principles, e.g. a decision not to invest in oil companies, and
d) universities from working together with charities and other organisations on projects of common interest.
It is intended solely to prohibit universities and their departments from:
a) having an official view on politically controversial topics, and
b) joining programs such as “Stonewall Diversity Champions” which commit them to particular ideological positions.
We strongly support the statement of the 1967 Kalven Report on the University’s Role in Political and Social Action: “To perform its mission in the society, a university must sustain an extraordinary environment of freedom of enquiry and maintain an independence from political fashions, passions and pressures. … It is not a club, it is not a trade association, it is not a lobby.”