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

Category: Cases
Schools: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

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.

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  • Victory: Academic freedom for faculty preserved at UNC – Chapel Hill

    September 14, 2017

    University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill professor of history Jay Smith has been granted permission to teach his course, “Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes, 1956 to the Present” during the spring 2018 semester. This decision comes after he was initially denied permission to teach the class in November 2016 for vague “programmatic and strategic reasons.” Smith was inspired to create the course, which he previously taught twice before, after co-authoring the book “Cheated: The UNC Scandal, the Education of Athletes, and the Future of Big-Time College Sports,” which chronicles the 18-year-long student-athlete grade inflation scandal at […]

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