Dr. William Sturkey: Speech? Debate? Self-Censor?

The Coalition reached out to UNC Chapel Hill history professor Dr. William Sturkey to get his perspective about speech on campus.  We discussed recently passed resolutions,  the meaning of academic freedom, “viewpoint” diversity and more.

Below are a few video excerpts from our conversation about a recent student survey and calls for more “conservative” speech on campus. 

What are your thoughts about a recent survey that some trustees say is proof that “conservative’ students “self-censor”?

Dr. William Sturkey shares thoughts on recent UNC-CH student survey

The one thing that was very striking about the survey … was how few students actually took it. So, a very, very small minority of students actually responded to the survey. If this was a major crisis on our campuses, I imagine that more than 11 [or] 12% of students across the system would have actually responded to the survey. The other thing was that the survey really corrected a lot of misconceptions. Students overwhelmingly said that professors don’t take hard political stance in classes…We often accused of on cable news and the Internet people constantly talking about indoctrination on our college campuses. I think that what people have really latched on to, now that this indoctrination issue has been disproven, is that students self-censor.

And, what I really struggle with, with that, is that of course, they self-censor. We all self-censor in virtually every single interaction with other human beings…we all self-censor to some regard. And that’s not just out of respect for other people’s views, but that’s out of worrying about what the consequences of saying whatever pops into your head [is] going to have on your social standing. And so, I just think it’s really bizarre that we take a very common social practice and we say that this is a crisis in higher education when it’s something that we do in every walk of life, in every institution, every organization in our society. You should not say every single thing that pops up into your mind.

And if you have a very unpopular opinion, then maybe you don’t want to share that because you want to get invited to the party on Friday night or whatever. But the other thing is, I don’t know why we’re always putting the onus on the university itself. Why don’t the students come prepared to defend their views? I’ve been that student who had an unpopular opinion in class and argued with conviction, even though I had 13, 14, 15 people telling me I was wrong. And yeah, you’re not the most popular person that day, but at the same time, I didn’t necessarily blame them because I couldn’t go share my views. You know, I think that it’s a bizarre thing that we don’t allow students to openly debate in middle school, in high school, or in their churches or in their family room, you know, their family dining room tables. And then all of a sudden, we expect colleges to open this realm of open debate. It makes no sense at all. I would love for some of these ideas to be applied to private high schools and churches, and even family settings, and then ask people, how often do you self-censor in those settings? Because I bet it’s just as much, if not a lot more than institutions of higher education, like the University of North Carolina.

What do you think needs to happen as a result of this survey? Do faculty need more training? What about students? 

With this recent survey, one of the things I would love to see happen is not necessarily faculty training [because] the students say that faculty explores all sides of different debates.  That’s what the survey results bore out.  But, I think one of the things that we could do is train students to be more engaged.

… I will also observe that our classes are getting bigger. There are other policies that we think might be separate from this whole issue of expression, and free speech, and all of this, that are actually directly connected. Because when you’re in a class of 125 students, you don’t get to talk at all. Forget about self-censoring….It might be a couple of people get to …. speak per class. But even when you’re in a class of 35 students, you’re less likely to speak than when you are in a class of 15 students. If we want to encourage students to develop debate skills or the ability to express themselves verbally, we need smaller classes. We also need to then take the onus off of the institution….and actually train students to think critically and independently…. We need more humanities courses. We need more courses that teach students to think critically even when that critical thinking runs up against some of the ideas that they’ve been indoctrinated with since before they got to campus. I think those are some of the things that we need to do.   And we need to also listen to the people in our own community.

[I say this with respect to]…some of the policies that … [have recently passed]…. I’ve been reading the news coverage, and there was an example where a member of the board of trustees referenced some sort of cocktail party or something that he heard about third or fourth hand. I mean, we are full of talented faculty who interact with students every single day. Why are we hearing about what’s happening on our campus from somebody’s parent who heard it from their kid about a cocktail party or …something….? … [L]etting feelings, anecdotes and rumors dictate policy instead of actually using the talent and the passionate faculty and leaders that we have on the campus.

What are your thoughts about accusations that “conservative voices” are not represented among the faculty or are being silenced?

We’ve heard for a long time now …how there should be more “conservatives” on campus…. [W]hy is it always framed in that way? Why isn’t it that the conservative party doesn’t try to attract more academics and researchers and scientists? …it wasn’t always that way. Perhaps something has changed in conservative movements or conservative circles in recent years. But, to respond more directly to that point, the fact of the matter is, we don’t check voter registration status when we’re hiring people, when we’re interviewing people. We just simply don’t. That stuff doesn’t even come up.

The stuff that we study on campus, we study the whole world, right? We study ideas about even other worlds, literature, physics. Right? You don’t stop and ask somebody whether they registered as a Republican or Democrat. So, if we were ever to try and boost the number of “conservative” faculty on campus, One, I would say that the “conservative” party, the Republican Party, needs to expand its tent so that it can actually appeal to researchers and scientists and nonwhite people that have PhDs. That would be the very first thing you could do that would enhance the number of Republican folks teaching on the campus. The second thing, is really that you would have to then target people based on their political views, which we currently do not do. You would have to actually actively look up people’s voter registration…

So, … I guess my answer really is to try and toss that question back to the “conservatives” and ask them; why…so few people with advanced degrees follow the Republican Party?

The Danger of Politicization and a Post Truth America

The Coalition for Carolina noted that there have been several incidents around the country where politics are being injected into public university governance.  We asked Dr. Holden Thorp for his opinion on what’s behind such incidents and here is his response:

“Well, we have a whole lot of incidents around the country of boards becoming more intrusive into higher education.  Mostly it relates to how conservative politics would prefer to see higher education carry out their work.   This really comes down to the fact that there has been–over the last 50 years or so–an effort by the political right to change facts when they need to change them to suit their political goals.”

We followed up and asked Dr. Thorp if such a high level of politicization concerns him and, if so, what potential impact does he see it having on the country.  His response:

“I’m very worried about this level of political interference–certainly at the red state public universities, but also for higher education as a whole. And, it [political interference] tends to spread into other areas….

For example; there’s a lot of focus right now on the interference into the honest teaching and studying of American history. The conservatives don’t want to be reminded that America–the America that we have today–started off with huge genocide of Native Americans.  And then, it was animated by slavery–both in the colonial times and through reconstruction, and all through the civil war…all the way to today.  

Now these things are easy to document.  We know that there were millions of Native Americans here when the white folks arrived. We know that slavery was here long before the American Revolution and that it was a factor, in multiple ways, in the Revolution itself. But yet folks don’t want to be reminded of this, or, they don’t want more people to understand it and so they’re trying to suppress it.  Well, it’s a straight line from there to suppressing evolution, and stem cell research, and all kinds of things in medicine, and changing the way we measure things about the world.

And so, universities are here for one purpose and one purpose only. That’s to seek the truth about history. The truth about identity.  The truth about social science. And also, the truth about the natural world and the universe and how everything functions and fits together.  And if we don’t have that honest description, we’re in big trouble because we got pandemics and climate change and all kinds of racism, sexism and homophobia. All kinds of things that can really damage humanity if we don’t have the truth to fall back on when we need to solve problems.”

Daughtry: Gone from the BOG After Criticizing the BOG

On June 13, 2022 we shared comments from several Board of Governors members who were critical of the BOG’s decision to move the UNC System headquarters. One of those members was Leo Daughtry.  Here is part of what he said:

  • “IT SEEMS TO ME that politics has seeped under our buffer”. He added that the UNC System keeps a “political operative” on a retainer. 
  • “It is my opinion that the move from here to Raleigh was done purely on the basis of politics,” 

Now NC Policy Watch reports that “[a]fter six years on the UNC Board of Governors, Leo Daughtry is moving to the North Carolina State Board of Transportation.”  Mr. Daughtry said that NC House Leadership offered him a position on the new board and he “believed it was time to leave the Board of Governors”. In a phone interview with NC Policy Watch, Daughtry “declined to address whether political conflict was at the heart of his change in appointment. But, he [said that he] stands by his concerns about the relocation to Raleigh.

Here at the Coalition for Carolina Foundation we thank Mr. Daughtry for his courage to address this dangerous instance of politicization in the UNC system and wish him well in his new position.  

While the budget for the move has been approved, change can still happen. We can and must work to persuade our legislators to not follow-through with this bad idea. What can you do? Write them, call them, email them, submit opinion pieces, or share your thoughts on social media.  We must continue to speak out.

Other News:
The UNC System Office Move

In addition to the news about Mr. Daughtry moving to a different board, we’ve learned where legislators and the BOG want to move the UNC System headquarters to. And, unfortunately, we were correct about politicization possibilities. Higher Ed Works reports that the new location will be right across the street from state legislators and cost taxpayers several hundred million dollars. 
 
The 2022-23 State Budget

Higher Ed Works has published comments about the recently adopted state budget. 
They conclude that Carolina faculty and staff will not receive the much-needed pay raises we advocated for.  Instead, they will likely receive yet another inflation adjusted pay cut. 
 
UNC and Roe v Wade?

A recent news article highlighted our very own Dr. Mimi Chapman’s response to the Supreme Court abortion ruling, but questioned Carolina’s “silence” or lack of a response. 

“One week after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade with its landmark ruling in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization, public and private colleges and universities across the country have weighed in the elimination of a constitutional right to abortion.

From the University of North Carolina System and its flagship campus, UNC-Chapel Hill: total silence.”


The article references Dr. Rimer’s statement of The Gillings School as a reaction to UNC’s “silence”. We are looking into this further, but so far have not been able to find a UNC response comparable to this response from Duke.
 

A Step-by-Step Political Power Grab

The News and Observer reports: The North Carolina House passed a bill last week, “just hours after it became public, that would take some power from the governor and give it to the legislature. It is the latest move by the Republican-majority General Assembly to take power from Democratic Governor Roy Cooper. The bill would take control from the governor — and give it to the House and Senate’s top elected officials — to appoint seats on a local community college board, a move that has been done before. It is a local bill, meaning it cannot be vetoed by the governor.”

Last week we shared concerns from current and former Board of Governors members about a planned $115 million expenditure to relocate the UNC System office. The news about community college governance changes demonstrates that legislators are determined to find a way around the Governor’s veto power to work their will when it comes North Carolina’s public education systems and we have to ask; to what end? 

A look back at several public education governance actions paints an alarming and dangerous picture; especially when you consider Senator Berger’s expressed desire to create “synergies between the UNC System, the North Carolina Community College System, the state Department of Public Instruction and the state Department of Commerce”. He goes on to say that he’d like to see them all in one building – or at least one campus. “Maybe just one building, it may be a couple of buildings,” he said. “But I think they need to be in close proximity.”  Since the NC Community College office is right next to the legislature, “close proximity” could mean easy access for legislators. 

Recent actions, combined with those listed below, lead to this question; are these efforts part of a plan to completely transform public education in North Carolina?

  • An increased number of political allies running for local school boards–even in progressive areas like Durham and Chapel Hill–to exert more influence over K-12.

It’s Time for Action

If you are concerned about this, we urge you to make your concerns known.  You can do this by writing opinion pieces, contacting legislators, contacting members of the governing bodies, sharing content on social media platforms, and/or sharing your written comments with the Coalition so that we can republish them. You can find more contact information on our website

The time to act is now.  If you have something to say, The Coalition for Carolina will do what we can to amplify your message, but it will take more than just one voice to have an impact.  We urge you to speak up.

Two Concerning Issues for the BOG and BOT to Address

Below are two concerning governance issues that The Coalition for Carolina would like the Board of Governors and UNC Chapel Hill Trustees to address:

  1. Moving the UNC System offices to Raleigh and the possible consolidation of NC public education governance.

GOP Legislators passed a law to move the UNC System office with an eye towards achieving the consolidation that Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger refers to as; “synergies between the UNC System, the North Carolina Community College System, the state Department of Public Instruction and the state Department of Commerce…..[He’d] like to see them all in one building – or at least one campus….Maybe just one building, it may be a couple of buildings, …But I think they need to be in close proximity.”

With the new location being Raleigh, and the Community College System office being right next to the General Assembly, “close proximity” could mean close to the politicians, but this move does not have 100% buy-in. The move is so expensive and controversial that three current and one former Board of Governors members publicly expressed their concerns:

  • Art Pope:
    • “When law is made behind closed doors…, oftentimes it’s not the best legislation.” The transaction “lacks accountability and transparency,” 
    • “We have space here. It’s not costing us $15 million to maintain space here,” he said. “I certainly don’t want to hear about a tuition increase when we’re spending $15 million unnecessarily.”
    • Leo Daughtry:
      • IT SEEMS TO ME that politics has seeped under our buffer”. He added that the UNC System keeps a “political operative” on a retainer. 
      • “It is my opinion that the move from here to Raleigh was done purely on the basis of politics,” 
    • John Fraley: “The reasons to do this seem to be lacking,…This move is going to cost us a lot of money that we do not have to spend – and could cost us $100 million, ultimately.”
    • Lou Bissette: “Members of this board owe their fiduciary duty to the UNC System, and not to the body that appoints them,” 

We would like the Board of Governors to reconsider this move for the reasons stated above.

We’ve learned that this policy change has created huge challenges on campus and request that the UNC Chapel Hill trustees reverse it to fix the issues the new policy has created.

Could This Happen in North Carolina?

The Coalition was founded last summer to support and defend the University and its independence from partisan interference. We rededicated ourselves to the University’s promise of Lux Libertas—light and liberty—and the principles of open inquiry, free speech, academic freedom, equity and inclusion because we saw these principles at risk.

Over the past months we’ve stayed on mission and pointed out specific examples of how our concerns were playing out in hopes of slowing or stopping the damage.   We’re making an impact and recently, thankfully, things seem to have quieted down. 

While “quiet” is good, it may mean “not making headlines.”  Whatever is happening,  we are hopeful and will remain vigilant–not just to what’s happening in NC, but also to what’s going on in other states. To that end, a news report’s description of Governor Ron DeSantis’ Planned Sweeping Assault on Autonomy of Public Colleges in Florida caught our attentionas it paints an alarming picture:

A sweeping action to consolidate and centralize governance.

“Records obtained through a series of public-records requests show that DeSantis’ office recently developed a sweeping plan to overhaul higher-education oversight in Florida. The governor’s proposal would have centralized more power in boards run by the governor’s political appointees, made colleges and universities more dependent on money controlled by politicians in Tallahassee, and imposed more restrictions on what schools can teach….”The DeSantis plan would have even stripped university presidents of the ability to hire professors.”

Attacks on tenure, free speech, accreditation, the curriculum.

“They have passed laws ordering community colleges and state universities to dig up details about the personal political beliefs of their employees, making it harder for professors to maintain tenure, interfering with university accreditation, and threatening funding for schools that don’t fall in line with the governor’s efforts to control the teaching of slavery, segregation and institutional racism…”

.

An expressed belief by leaders that the Florida public universities are too liberal.

“Over the past year, Gov. Ron DeSantis and his allies in the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature have been on a crusade against public universities, tarring them as “intellectually repressive” and “socialism factories.”

As we consider what’s going on in Florida as well as other states such as South Dakota, the Coalition’s mission to preserve and protect UNC Chapel Hill from political interference becomes more vital than ever.    

Silence Won’t Save Carolina

To say that UNC Chapel Hill faculty salaries have not kept pace with peers over the past 10 years is quite the understatement.  The accompanying graph paints a picture of not just an an ever-widening pay gap relative to peer schools, but an inflation adjusted pay cut.  This is concerning and unacceptable. The recently announced pay increases will not fix the problem and this pay gap versus peers is not limited to full-time professors at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

How did this happen over 10 years without someone raising the alarm or doing something about it?  The lack of visibility to this data was one factor, but with the negative headlines, governance overreach, and meddling in day-to-day operations, the silence of those who care was also a factor.  

The Coalition for Carolina will do all we can to shed a light on issues like this, but we need your help, your voice, your activism.  Those who love Carolina can reach out to the trustees, members of the Board of Governors, state legislators, and education policy makers to let them know how you feel about the policies and practices that are hurting the university.   As long as there is no pushback, the problems will continue. Silence won’t save Carolina.

Data Source: Chronicle for Higher Education: https://data.chronicle.com
Data Source: Chronicle for Higher Education: https://data.chronicle.com

The state has the resources to address faculty salaries and underfunding of public education in general.  See the related news below:

NC Gov. Cooper proposes more raises for state employees and teachers:

“North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called for Medicaid expansion and more money for state employees and teachers this year in his budget proposal ahead of the legislature’s spring session.

The state passed a two-year budget in 2021, but the General Assembly may pass additional spending bills during its short session, which begins on May 18.

The Republican-controlled legislature is unlikely to model those bills on the Democratic governor’s recommendation, but they will have to negotiate with Cooper to avoid a veto of their priorities.

Cooper presented his proposal to reporters Wednesday afternoon with State Budget Director Charlie Perusse.”

NC Republicans are currently considering state employee and teacher raises, tax cuts this session – Reach out and let them know you are in favor of this funding: 

The first signs of the Republican-majority General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper agreeing on something this year sprang forth on Wednesday: Raises for state employees and teachers.

What isn’t clear yet: how much they might be.

House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters on Wednesday, the first day of the legislative session, that House Republicans want to look at “some increases” for state employees and teachers.

While the state budget is passed every two years, smaller budget bills in between can adjust spending. Republicans are looking at both money for employees and some sort of possible tax relief, Moore said.”

Higher Ed Works calls on state leaders to use a $6.2 billion surplus to “Make education a priority again”.

“RALEIGH (May 18, 2022) – As the NC General Assembly reconvenes today with a $6.2 billion state budget surplus, it’s time to make education a priority again in North Carolina.

Officials announced last week that the state will take in $4.24 billion more than projected in the budget year that ends June 30 – a 15% increase. And they revised revenue projections for the budget year that begins July 1 upward by $1.96 billion, or nearly 7%.1 

Meanwhile, North Carolina ranks 34th among the states in average teacher pay and 41st in K-12 per-pupil expenditures.2 Community college faculty are paid even worse. Turnover among faculty and staff at UNC System campuses has spiked dramatically in the past year.3 

And inflation continues with an 8.5% increase in prices in the past year, devouring the 2.5% raises state workers received last year.4

Why is this Happening?

What a week!  We are proud to welcome the class of 2022 to their new status as UNC-CH alumni. Last week was filled with celebrations.  Frank Bruni and Chancellor Guskiewicz gave excellent remarks at the commencement ceremony and, coming off the heels of our fantastic men’s and women’s basketball season, things felt pretty good. 

Yet, as our great University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill successfully launched the class of 2022, ugly headlines related to university governance once again appeared. A damning report from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) was followed by a downgrading of the journalism school accreditation from The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).  This rollercoaster of good times followed by bad news is frustrating and as we work our way through a series of emotions, many ask; why?  With respect to our governing bodies being so often at the center of the controversies, we asked former Chancellor Thorp for his opinion on what has changed.  It turns out that our governing bodies are not following what is known as good governance practices of “noses in and fingers out”.  Check out Chancellor Thorp’s opinion in the video below.

I would say, based on what I’ve observed, that the legislative bodies are much more involved in areas of university operation that they’ve never been involved in before. Particularly the hiring of administrators and the deciding on tenure and also on the curriculum.  This has never really been the case it’s always been true that the administration was responsible for hiring other administrators and the faculty were responsible for deciding on tenure and on the curriculum.  So, what you have now is kind of an incursion of the governing boards into areas that are not within the responsibility of the governing boards.  

There always has been incursion of various kinds from the UNC system and the governing boards.  During my time that was mostly in athletics.  And, you can see there that all of that interference really didn’t help matters very much and it’s not helping matters very much now to have the governing boards working on parts of university operations that are not in their remit.

Links to Recent News:

UNC-CH Journalism School Re-Accreditation Threatened

In the wake of the AAUP report that criticized “pervasive and overly partisan political control” at Carolina, The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, ACEJMC, sent another shot over UNC’s bow by downgrading the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media’s accreditation to “provisional.” https://www.wral.com/questions-about-diversity-inclusiveness-threaten-accreditation-of-unc-journalism-school/20261803/

After its review of UNC in 2021, the ACEJMC dinged the Hussman School for its lack of faculty diversity and inconsistencies enacting a 2016 diversity and inclusion plan.

It was an unexpected rebuke for what is widely recognized as the best school of journalism in the United States. Hussman students have won seven out of eight of the last annual Hearst Awards Competitions, the Pulitzer Prizes of student journalism, and the current Daily Tar Heel editor was just hired by the Washington Post even before her graduation.

Last year, in a widely-hailed coup, Pulitzer Prize winning author and McArthur Genius Grant recipient Nikole Hannah-Jones was hired as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism by Dean Susan King. But, instead of granting her the tenure offered to previous Knight Chairs that had been approved by the Hussman School’s faculty and the University’s Committee on Appointment, Promotions and Tenure, the University only offered her a five-year contract. After an outcry from faculty, students, and national media, the UNC Board of Trustees, working through its sub-committee on University Affairs, relented and finally voted to offer tenure in June. Hannah-Jones declined the position and took a Knight Chair at Howard University.

The accrediting team noted that in the aftermath of the Silent Sam controversy and the Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure debacle, “The UNC Hussman School is dealing with an existential crisis both internally and externally. The controversy surrounding the decision by Nikole Hanah-Jones to turn down a tenured, endowed chair at the school exposed long-standing problems. Several faculty members and staff, particularly those of color, said morale is low and they are considering leaving the school.” What we are experiencing here is yet another example of governance overreach that we alluded to in previous posts and Opeds. “Just as termite destruction can go undetected until the building starts to collapse, persistent politicization and governance overreach is taking a toll on Carolina.” The cumulative effect of politicization and overreach is now showing tangible damage to one of Carolina’s most respected schools.

A Welcome Calm at Carolina, but also Evidence of More Political Retribution

The recent success of Carolina’s men’s and women’s basketball teams during March Madness and fewer embarrassing situations involving governance overreach and politicization have provided much needed calm.  We are thankful for this relative calm and hope it continues. But, even in the midst of this calm, we have clear and frequent reminders that we have work to do.  

As the excitement of March Madness took our attention, NC Policy watch published an investigative piece detailing what happened when Professor Eric Muller wasn’t reappointed to the UNC Press board. A member of the UNC Press board says; “We were put in a position where we basically had to accept them [the UNC Board of Governors (BOG)] rejecting the reappointment of our unanimously elected chairman”. The member asked not to be identified because they said they still fear political retribution by members of the conservative-dominated BOG and several Press board members believe that a “culture of intimidation” from the BOG continues to threaten academic freedom across the university system.  

With respect to Professor Muller, here is what the investigative report reveals: 

One member of the press board stated: 

“They never satisfactorily explained the rejection and they refused to publicly debate or vote on the reappointment,” the board member said. “I think everyone on our board knew it was wrong, but we also knew that the harder we fought this, the more damage the Board of Governors could do to the Press. There was a strong chance that other programs and projects we are involved with individually would be targeted in retribution. Eric’s own case proved that and they have shown a willingness to go after people who oppose them time and again for years now.”

Reporter Joe Killian continued:

 “Muller ultimately resigned from the UNC Press Board rather than drag the organization through a grueling public — and possibly legal — fight with the Board of Governors. Policy Watch reached out to Muller for comment for this story. He declined. But UNC Press Board members and academics across the system warned the incident set a worrisome precedent: Conservative political appointees on the system’s governing board could ignore established procedure and assert complete control over groups and processes with which they are meant to share governance with faculty, staff and students.”

Follow this link to read the full investigative report.

Professor Eric Muller has responded to the piece on Twitter with the following statements:

“I was invited to comment for this excellent article on revelations about the process by which the @UNC_System Bd of Governors slapped me down last summer for speaking publicly about the university, race, & law in ways they didn’t like. I declined. But … I’ll say two things here.

First, the professional script in these situations is for the bullied person to emerge saying they’re unfazed, A-OK, and more committed than ever to speaking out. That’s not my script. This episode fazed me. It was very hard & remains so.

This episode demonstrates two critical methods these boards are using to assert control.  One is inaction to the point that a part of the university or university system has no choice but to comply in order to fulfill its mission.  The BOG would not vote on Professor Muller. They simply insisted another name be sent.  When the Chancellor refused to do so, the UNC Press board was in a difficult position: nominate someone else or face the inability to continue with its work. Professor Muller chose to step down.  But he should not have had to make this choice. The BOG should have voted him down if they did not want him in the role in the same way they should’ve voted on Nikole Hannah Jones when her dossier was originally put forward. Yes or No. But don’t hide behind inaction.  

Likewise, these situations send a clear message to faculty not to speak out if you want to be left alone to do the scholarship and service to the University to which they have committed their professional lives. Go along to get along. It is ironic that these same people are worried about speech on campus when their actions squelch it.