It didn’t receive a lot of publicity, when it happened, so it’s worth mentioning again. Last week the UNC Chapel Hill Faculty Council voted to adopt the “Chicago Principles” to respond growing threats to free speech on campus.
Among other things, the Chicago Principles affirm that “the University has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.”
Considering the numerous student demonstrations on the campus in recent years, the statement by the Faculty Council is most welcome.
The action comes on the heels of a new free speech policy passed by the General Assembly last December and adopted by the UNC Board of Governors that provides punishments for those found guilty of disrupting events on public university campuses.
A tip of the hat to the Faculty Council and the UNC Board of Governors for affirming the importance of free speech and for taking appropriate and needed steps to protecting those freedoms on campuses.