Update on new Compelled Speech policy and legislative request

Posted on March 17, 2023

Minerva statue.

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to share with you that the UNC System constituent institutions, including UNCG, have received system policy updates and legislative requests related to the First Amendment and our diversity, equity, and inclusion-related activities. We are working across divisions to respond to the new policy, as well as the legislative request. Our work will be informed by our mission and strategic plan and the priorities that have been established to meet our goals.

Last month, the UNC Board of Governors passed a revision to UNC Policy 300.5.1. “Political Activities of Employees,” to include a “Prohibition on Compelling Speech.” The policy now prohibits any system institution from asking individuals to “affirmatively ascribe to or opine about beliefs, affiliations, ideals or principles regarding matters of contemporary political debate or social action as a condition to admission, employment, or professional advancement.” UNC System guidance is forthcoming. The Chancellor has formed a working group to provide guidance and compliance recommendations by April 24, 2023.

 Members of the working group are:

  • Andrea Hunter, Professor and Chancellor’s Fellow for Campus Climate (chair)
  • Greg Bell, Professor and Dean, The Graduate School
  • Jerry Blakemore, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Integrity and General Counsel
  • Stacey Krim, Assistant Professor and Chair, Faculty Senate EDI Committee
  • Patricia Lynch, Director of Employee Relations and EEO/AA
  • Tina McEntire, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management
  • Andrea Whitley, Associate Vice Provost, Faculty Personnel Services. 

If you have questions related to the working group, please contact chair Andrea Hunter. 

In addition the UNC System Office received a request from the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations (North Carolina Legislature) for information pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion-related employee training programs. The University is working with central units including Human Resources and the Provost’s Office to collect this information. Should you or your office receive a request for information, please respond promptly so we may meet the March 28, 2023 deadline. If you do not get contacted by Human Resources or the Provost’s Office, there is no need for any action from your unit.

Thank you in advance, 
Jerry Blakemore
Vice Chancellor for Institutional Integrity and General Counsel


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