University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Professor Denied Right to Teach Course Critical of UNC, Academic Freedom Threatened


University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In November of 2016, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill infringed on the academic freedom of Professor Jay Smith by refusing his requests to teach the course “Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes, 1956 to the Present” during the 2017 fall semester. FIRE wrote UNC to echo the concerns raised by 45 UNC faculty members in a statement that implored UNC to follow the accrediting agency’s preferred policy of directing administrative concerns about course content to the Faculty Council. On July 27, 2017, Smith was alerted that he received permission to teach the course during the spring 2018 semester.