More Free-Speech Recognition for UNC Schools | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of The James G. Martin Center. The author of this post is Jenna A. Robinson.

    Last week, UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Charlotte won Heterodox Academy's "Institutional Excellence Award" for having "done the most to advance or sustain open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement either on its own campus or nationally."

    Heterodox Academy (HxA) is a nonpartisan faculty organization with thousands of members dedicated to free expression and a diverse intellectual environment on campus. HxA presents the Open Inquiry Awards to honor individual faculty members, groups, and institutions who are "leading the way in improving classrooms, campuses, and scholarship by championing our values."

    HxA president John Tomasi told the Martin Center, "UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Charlotte are exceptional examples of academic insiders working to elevate the ideal of open inquiry on their campuses."

    Tomasi added, "Both schools are members of HxA's fast-growing Campus Community Network. More than mere members, however, HxA's chapters at UNC and Charlotte have become role models for advocates of academic freedom on campuses across the country and around the world. Jointly awarding [a] 2023 Open Inquiry Award to these two campuses is our way of expressing our admiration for the work they do."

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    HxA chose UNC-Chapel Hill as an award recipient for its "myriad efforts" to improve free-speech protections for faculty and students, including campus-wide research to assess free expression and campus dialogue, implemented at eight institutions across the UNC System. Carolina also launched the UNC Program for Public Discourse, which HxA calls "a key institutional component of UNC's efforts to showcase viewpoint diversity and constructive discourse." Furthermore, UNC-Chapel Hill recently passed three resolutions to protect academic freedom and institutional neutrality. "And finally," writes HxA, "UNC created the faculty Committee for Academic Freedom and Free Expression in 2023, among other accomplishments."

    UNC-Chapel Hill trustee Perrin Jones told the Martin Center, "The Carolina Community-our students, administrators, trustees, and faculty-is in agreement about the important role that freedom of thought, conscience, and speech play within both the university and our broader society." Jones, who spearheaded trustee efforts on free expression and institutional neutrality, added, "UNC, as it has done before, is proud to lead the way in protecting, and advancing, these freedoms."

    HxA chose UNC Charlotte for "a number of successful initiatives," spearheaded by its Free Expression & Constructive Dialogue Task Force. HxA notes:

    In April 2023, the faculty overwhelmingly passed a free speech resolution based on the Chicago Principles. The task force also created a Constructive Dialogue Faculty Learning Community to bring the tools of constructive dialogue into the classroom, in addition to creating a resource website for anyone on campus. And finally, the task force created the Charlotte Conversationalists, which is a new program that has trained 10 undergraduate students in the art of constructive dialogue and will support them to conduct student conversations in informal settings on campus, among other accomplishments.

    UNC Charlotte trustee J. Brett Keeter told the Martin Center, "To have our work on free speech and diversity of thought recognized nationally is a phenomenal honor. I am proud that at UNC Charlotte, our faculty lead on this effort, and we on the Board of Trustees were able to reinforce their actions and endorse the Chicago Principles with our own strong resolution."

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    Keeter, who chairs the Board's Academic and Student Life Committee, credited leaders across UNC Charlotte for modeling free expression and viewpoint diversity, saying, "Our chancellor and administration set a tremendous example of living these principles every day. In the past year, we've had controversial speakers and events on campus, and these were shining examples of how the First Amendment should be practiced."

    UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Charlotte are models for the UNC System and the rest of the country.

    Jenna A. Robinson is the president of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

poll#212
A majority of Americans still believe in OUR 1st Amendment guaranteed Freedom of Speech; however, at what bold point does the constitutional right to Free Speech becomes unabashed anti-Semitic Hate Speech, and while it should possibly be tolerated on our college campuses, and on the streets of mostly Sanctuary Cities, these events should be rightfully observed and scrupulously monitored ... or, not? What is your true opinion of when too much of enough is just too much, or not?
  The answer to Free Speech I don't agree with is more, and incredibly robust Free Speech.
  There is a point when Free Speech becomes counter productive to sustaining a peaceful society.
  Free Speech should only be tolerated if it represents the status quo of the highly educated orthodoxy.
  Early in life, I learned to speak only when I am spoken to.
168 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?


poll#164
It has been far too many years since the Woke theology interlaced its canons within the fabric of the Indoctrination Realm, so it is nigh time to ask: Does this Representative Republic continue, as a functioning society of a self-governed people, by contending with the unusual, self absorbed dictates of the Woke, and their vast array of Victimhood scenarios?
  Yes, the Religion of Woke must continue; there are so many groups of underprivileged, underserved, a direct result of unrelenting Inequity; they deserve everything.
  No; the Woke fools must be toppled from their self-anointed pedestal; a functioning society of a good Constitutional people cannot withstand this level of "existential" favoritism as it exists now.
  I just observe; with this thoughtful observation: What will happen "when the Vikings are breeching our walls;" how do the Woke react?
845 total vote(s)     What's your Opinion?

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