academic freedom

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 […]

UNC Board of Governors courts more controversy with new proposed rule on hiring and enrollment

BY: - January 19, 2023

Proponents say their objective is to protect freedom of speech and thought, but critics see other motives and many potential landmines Discussions about political debates, beliefs, affiliations, ideals or principles could be banned in employment and enrollment processes at UNC System schools, if the UNC Board of Governors approves a proposed rule change.

College and university presidents: Time to speak up

BY: - September 26, 2022

As students, faculty and administrators at North Carolina’s colleges and universities struggle with questions of free speech and academic freedom, veteran leaders in higher education — including a former chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill — are urging them to speak up on difficult issues. Last week Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, cited a a […]

Panel to examine free speech, self-censorship at UNC

BY: - September 6, 2022

Like many colleges and university systems across the country, UNC has long been embroiled in a debate about free speech on campuses. In a politically volatile era in which extremist views have gone mainstream, the extent of free speech disagreements at UNC campuses is unclear, as are potential solutions. On Sept 13, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Program for Public Discourse will hold the university’s first student-centered discussion on the issue. ”Can We Talk? Student Thoughts on Free Expression at UNC,” was sparked by a series of surveys about free speech — surveys that themselves have become controversial.

National faculty group condemns UNC System for political interference, institutional racism

BY: - June 17, 2022

A national faculty group voted unanimously Thursday to condemn the UNC System Board of Governors and UNC System office for a pattern of political interference it says threatens academic freedom, chills speech and  perpetuates institutional racism. As Policy Watch reported in April, a special committee of the American Association of University Professors released a scathing […]

National faculty organization releases scathing report on UNC System

BY: - April 28, 2022

  “The University of North Carolina system is in trouble,” according to a report released Thursday by a national faculty group. “And not the kind of trouble that record enrollments or good rankings can fix. It is the kind of trouble that festers and spreads.” The 38 page report, released Thursday by the American Association […]

Faculty members protest Board of Governors’ interference with UNC Press leadership

BY: - July 20, 2021

BOG member says refusal to reappoint law professor Eric Muller is a message to students, campus leaders and faculty that they "are not in charge of the system" The UNC-Chapel Hill faculty is opposing what they say is undue political influence on appointments to the UNC Press Board of Governors.

Trustees’ handling of Nikole Hannah-Jones’ tenure application shows how university boards often fail the accountability test

BY: - July 4, 2021

University boards of trustees hold considerable power over the institutions they govern, but get attention only when they’re hiring a new president or if there is a crisis. Yet, increasingly boards aren’t navigating or mediating crises – they are creating them. On June 30, after deliberating in a closed session, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees voted 9-4 to grant journalist, MacArthur Fellowship recipient and Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure.

UNC mega-donor Walter Hussman denies exerting pressure over Hannah-Jones hiring

BY: - June 3, 2021

Board of Trustees face Friday deadline to avoid legal action As the deadline approaches for UNC-Chapel Hill to avoid a federal discrimination lawsuit over its handling of acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’s tenure application, new details continue to emerge about the behind-the-scenes lobbying that led the university to a crisis point.


In Wall Street Journal op-ed, UNC prof says big-time sports are undermining academic freedom

BY: - May 1, 2018

The following is from a press release distributed this morning by the North Carolina Conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP): UNC Professor’s Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Tells “How Sports Ate Academic Freedom” Years after the University of North Carolina’s academic-athletics scandal, the state’s flagship university continues to let big sports interfere with […]

The link between conservative professors advising UNC Board of Governors

BY: - December 21, 2017

In the last few weeks, the UNC Board of Governors has been looking for advice on promoting intellectual diversity and civil discourse on campuses. Specifically, the board has looked for that advice from two prominent conservative professors from private schools whose work and academic centers are funded by conservative foundations openly engaged in a political […]

UNC Board of Governors hosts conservative academic star, looks to emulate his program

BY: - December 15, 2017

  When the UNC Board of Governors hosted conservative Professor Robert George of Princeton Friday morning, it was quickly apparent the board has more than a passing interest in replicating his James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. How could they take his concept and up-size it to fit the much larger UNC system, […]