A new report from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) raises concern over the influence of institutional racism and government interference at the University of North Carolina (UNC).
The 70-page report, Governance, Academic Freedom, and Institutional Racism in the University of North Carolina System, focused on Chapel Hill but included all UNC branches. AAUP interviewed 50 individuals from across the system and found a “pattern of political interference” that violates AAUP principles of academic governance. The report concludes this interference has created a hostile environment for faculty, staff, and students of color.
The report explores events on UNC campuses, including the closure of academic centers run by faculty who openly disagreed with the state leadership, barring centers from the process of litigation, the dealing with the “Silent Sam” Confederate memorial on campus, and the failed 2021 appointment of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nicole Hannah-Jones to an endowed chair.
AAUP concludes by urging strong, independent leadership at UNC that can defend the school from political pressure.