Carolina Commitment to Academic Freedom and Free Expression

Academic Freedom and Free Expression are foundational principles for both research universities and democratic societies. These principles are essential for academic institutions because they protect the free pursuit of knowledge and open exchange of ideas, while promoting civic discourse. As the nation’s first public university, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) has a special obligation to promote and defend these principles. UNC best achieves its mission of advancing knowledge, preparing students to participate in a democratic society, and serving the people of North Carolina when it ensures that ideas may be openly debated. Free expression ensures that different viewpoints can be heard and tested both within the university and beyond.

The Committee for Academic Freedom and Free Expression (CAFFE) has issued a report that reiterates these first principles and addresses the rights and responsibilities of faculty. The full statement, along with a list of signatories can be read here. The Office of the Provost will be charging a working group to provide resources and practical guidance for faculty related to academic freedom and free expression.