Joe Killian

Joe Killian

Investigative Reporter Joe Killian's work examines government, politics and policy, with a special emphasis on higher education, LGBTQ issues and extremism.

Pence walks political line in UNC-Chapel Hill speech

By: - April 27, 2023

A little over a half-hour into former Vice President Mike Pence’s talk at UNC-Chapel Hill Wednesday evening, the only real interruption came. “Trump trusted you!” a man heckled from the crowd of just over 500 in the Great Hall of the campus student union. “You betrayed Trump!” As security ejected the man and the crowd […]

Aerial over the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“A war on higher education in our state” NC faculty group pens open letter opposing slate of higher ed-related bills

By: - April 26, 2023

The North Carolina chapter of the American Association of University Professors released an open letter Wednesday opposing a slate of higher education-related bills the group says will threaten academic freedom, diversity efforts and non-partisan university governance. Taken together, the letter says, the proposed changes “effectively constitute a war on higher education in our state.” The […]

Aerial over the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

More than 670 UNC-Chapel Hill faculty oppose “overreach” by legislature, political appointees

By: - April 25, 2023

More than 670 faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill have signed an open letter opposing what they call overreach by the General Assembly and its political appointees on the UNC System’s Board of Governors and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees. The letter, published Tuesday in The Daily Tar Heel and reproduced below in its entirety, makes […]

N.C. Community College Board chooses new president as GOP looks to change process

By: - April 21, 2023

The State Board of Community Colleges chose a new president for the 58-campus community college system Friday, making the decision ahead of a looming bill that would require the General Assembly to approve the system’s top leader. Jeff Cox, president of Wilkes Community College, will be the system’s new president. Cox, who also serves as […]

Transgender sports ban passes N.C. Senate

By: - April 20, 2023

The North Carolina Senate passed its version of a bill that would exclude transgender female athletes from middle and high school sports Thursday. The bill is less expansive than the similar House version passed Wednesday, which includes college sports. The Senate version also does not prohibit female athletes from playing on teams designated male, while […]

N.C. House passes transgender sports ban

By: - April 20, 2023

A bill barring transgender female athletes from female sports teams passed the state House by a 73-39 vote Wednesday. The bill, which expands the originally proposed ban from middle and high school teams to include college athletes, moved swiftly through two committees Tuesday and Wednesday to a floor vote in the afternoon. All Republicans who […]

New bill targets tenure, calls for scrutiny of research at UNC System campuses, community colleges

By: - April 19, 2023

Faculty tenure at UNC System universities and community colleges would end under a new bill filed Tuesday. House Bill 715 would “prospectively eliminate academic tenure and establish uniform contracting procedure for faculty at constituent institutions and community colleges.” The bill, filed by Rep. David Willis (R-Union), would make all faculty members at UNC System universities […]

A drag queen in Moore County, NC

New bill would criminalize public drag performances

By: - April 18, 2023

Public drag performances could become illegal under a bill filed Tuesday in the N.C. House. H673 would classify as “adult live entertainment” any “male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest,” making it illegal for drag performances to take place on public property in the presence of anyone under age […]

Cat Salemi, Clinical mental health counselor Cat Salemi said the purpose of the bill is to discriminate against trans girls and exclude them from participating in sports. (Photo: Screen grab legislative hearing)

“They assume we don’t exist”

By: - April 18, 2023

A bill that would prohibit transgender girls from playing girls’ sports in middle and high schools in North Carolina cleared its first hurdle Tuesday, passing the state Senate Education/Higher Education Committee. Out of the approximately 180,000 active student athletes in the state, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association says, only about 15 are transgender. […]

SPLC Report: Seven Confederate monuments removed in NC last year, 173 remaining

By: - April 14, 2023

North Carolina was among the states that removed the most Confederate monuments and symbols last year, according to new data from the Southern Poverty Law Center. But just seven such symbols were removed, according to the SPLC; 173 remain across the state. This week, as the  North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities held […]

UNC-Chapel Hill students plan protest over banning of law student from campus

By: - April 12, 2023

Students at UNC-Chapel Hill are planning a walk-out Thursday in protest of the university’s banning a law student from campus after their arrest related to a protest last month in Atlanta, Georgia. Jamie Marsicano, a second-year student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Law, was one of 23 people arrested and charged with domestic terrorism after […]

Members of the Governor’s Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina - Photo: Joe Killian

“We are losing members of the faculty and staff,” say UNC System employees

By: - April 12, 2023

The question of faculty and staff voices in university governance took center stage as the Governor’s Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina held its final public listening session in Durham on Tuesday. The session, which was held at Durham Technical Community College, drew current and former faculty members and staff from […]