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Dec 19, 2022

UNC-System Employees Really Love Democrats

While North Carolina is often considered a “purple state,” the composition of UNC-System campaign contributions is anything but bipartisan. OpenSecrets data indicate that campaign contributions to Democrats among UNC-System employees outweighed those to Republicans by more than 20 to 1 in the 2020 and 2022 election cycles.

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Dec 12, 2022

Ideological Compulsion at the UNC School of Journalism

There are times when “I told you so” is unpleasant to say. This is one of those occasions.

In May, the Martin Center reported on the appointment of a new dean, Raul Reis, at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism. Based on Reis’s previous work and his professed dedication to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI), the Martin Center warned that this new hire might seek to remake the school in the image of DEI. That prediction, unfortunately, appears to have come true.

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Dec 12, 2022

Has Your University Signed "The Chicago Statement?"

Vietnam War-inspired protests were all but gone on campuses when I started college in 1974, but the “free speech” movement they spawned was just getting started.

It’s no secret that this college-anchored free speech movement has evolved since the early 1980s, when “free speech zones” were established on campus grounds. But free speech advocates soon began to challenge them as too restrictive.

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Dec 5, 2022

Murphy Champions First Amendment Rights at Annual Campus Free Speech Roundtable

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Greg Murphy, M.D., Virginia Foxx, Kat Cammack, Burgess Owens, and Mariannette Miller-Meeks held the second annual Congressional Campus Free Speech Roundtable in the U.S. Capitol. The event brought together leaders from the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), current college students, and members of the Alumni Free Speech Alliance (AFSA) to discuss First Amendment concerns in post-secondary education.

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Oct 19, 2022

HILL: Holden Thorp and the charade of political neutrality

Frank Hill

Former UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp published “The Charade of Political Neutrality” in the Sept. 16 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

He tried to make the case that conservative politicians want to dictate what colleges teach and who teaches what subjects. What he and virtually all administrators and faculty fail to understand about conservatives is they couldn’t care less what any administrator or faculty says at Carolina or any other college ― as long as other faculty and students have the guaranteed freedom to say whatever they want in response without fear of reprisal, ostracism, suppression or ridicule supported by the administration. Or worse, be declined tenure as a young professor or get a failing grade as a student for not adhering to the liberal ideology imposed by their superiors.

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Oct 18, 2022

Universities Should Adopt Institutional Neutrality

Mark McNeilly

On July 27, 2022, the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees passed a resolution adopting both the University of Chicago’s Free Speech Statement and its Kalven Report. Chicago’s Free Speech Statement, which guarantees free expression at the university, is well known in academia. According to the campus free speech organization FIRE, 87 universities have adopted the Statement as of July 2022. Much less well known is the Kalven Report, which focuses on institutional neutrality.

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Sep 29, 2022

UNC Holds First Amendment "Celebration" With One-Sided Condemnations of Free Speech Values

A professor at the University of North Carolina recently sent me an article on a “free speech event” held at the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy as part of the University’s 13th First Amendment Day celebration. What was striking about the free speech panel was not just that it was decidedly opposed to core free speech principles but it lacked a single panelist who spoke primarily in favor of free speech and against censorship.

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Sep 22, 2022

Bias Response Teams Have No Place on N.C. Campuses

Jenna Robinson

It’s no secret that university students, once know for their brash defense of unfettered free speech, have gone rather quiet on the issue.

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Sep 21, 2022

2022-2023 College Free Speech ankings

28% of students say shouting down a speaker to prevent them from speaking on campus is never acceptable.

44% of students say they have rarely or never self-censored on campus.

37% of students say they are not worried about damaging their reputation because someone misunderstands something they have said or done.

For every one conservative student, there are roughly 3.4 liberal students.

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Sep 20, 2022

And Yet It Moves

Jukka Savolainen

Nature Human Behavior, one of the most prestigious journals for social science research, recently published an editorial titled “Science must respect the dignity and rights of all humans.” Though short, the article generated tremendous pushback among academics and intellectuals concerned about the spread of social-justice ideology into science.

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Aug 26, 2022

Which Way for Chapel Hill?

UNC’s Board of Trustees adopts a resolution on free expression and institutional neutrality—but the school’s academic departments remain committed to ideological coercion.

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Aug 15, 2022

UNC trustee on campus speech: 'We cannot let fear fester where learning should flower.'

The purpose of higher education in a democracy is to promote the discovery, refinement and sharing of knowledge and wisdom through free and open inquiry and debate. Censorship, dogma and intolerance have no place in our universities.

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Aug 15, 2022

'Students who identify as conservative face distinctive challenges': report

On May 17, the University of North Carolina (UNC) System released a report on the status of “Free Expression and Constructive Dialogue” at member schools.

Key findings of the report included that “[c]ampuses do not consistently achieve an atmosphere that promotes free expression,” “[s]tudents who identify as conservative face distinctive challenges,” and “[s]tudents across the political spectrum want more opportunities to engage with those who think differently.”

Aug 4, 2022

Did You Know? UNC-Chapel Hill Now Has Some of the Best Free-Speech Policies in the Nation

Last week, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees passed two important resolutions on campus viewpoint neutrality. With the addition of these protections, UNC’s free-speech policies are among the best in the nation.

Jul 28, 2022

Chapel Hill's Trustees Pass Two Strong Resolutions

University trustees seldom do much good, but the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill Board of Trustees has just passed two strong resolutions, available here.

One states that funds collected from mandatory student fees are to be distributed in a viewpoint-neutral fashion. That is to say, without favoritism for “progressive” organizations or hostility toward conservative and libertarian ones. University administrators have often played favorites and it’s a good thing that school policy now forbids it.

Jul 14, 2022

Did You Know? Post-Re, UNC-Chapel Hill Has Struggled to Stay Neutral

One of the most important principles for preserving a spirit of inquiry, discovery, and discussion on university campuses is institutional neutrality. This means that, while individual faculty are free to say what they like, universities should not take positions as institutions (or as units within the institution) on divisive political matters.

Jul 1, 2022

Free Expression at UNC Schools: Freshman Orientation Edition

About two years ago, I spoke to a class of UNC-Chapel Hill students about free speech: what it is and why it is important. I covered some basic points such as the kinds of speech the First Amendment does and does not protect.

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May 30, 2022

Old School Institutional Racism at UNC? Ludicrous

Last month, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) released a report accusing the North Carolina General Assembly and the UNC Board of Governors of “political interference” at UNC-Chapel Hill and across the UNC System.

As the Martin Center predicted in October, the report is a clear hit job on people and policies that its authors don’t like. In its zeal to criticize Republicans, it misses something fundamental: Governance of public universities has always been political.

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May 6, 2022

Press Release: AAUP Report Wrongly Accuses Two UNC Governing Boards

Press Release: AAUP Report Wrongly Accuses Two UNC Governing BoardsNew York, NY; May 6, 2022 — The National Association of Scholars (NAS) strongly disagrees with the conclusion of the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) provocatively titled new report, Governance, Academic Freedom, and Institutional Racism in the University of North Carolina System.

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Apr 1, 2022

A harmful political ideology is posing a threat at NC’s top public university

An air of illiberalism has taken hold at a prominent school within UNC-Chapel Hill, America’s oldest public university. If unchecked, the pattern threatens a liberal arts education’s very foundation: the freedom to challenge orthodoxy.

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