Photo Credit: Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Next month, the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors will vote to decide whether or not the public university system will adopt a policy banning compelled speech, the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal first reported.

Currently, it is common for institutions of higher learning to require applicants to submit a “diversity statement,” outlining potential students’ and faculty members’ ideological commitment to the Left’s DEI and CRT agendas.

Some schools also implement the practice in their orientation programs. At Saint Louis University, for example, admitted freshman students must recite a leftist “Oath of Inclusion” in order to fulfill an orientation requirement. The oath includes a clause promising to “embrace” diverse gender identities and “work for social justice.” At Iowa State University, admitted students must undergo a training course that includes a guide to help students accept and use preferred pronouns.

If we require students and employees to conform to a prescribed set of beliefs, that simply isn’t true to our tradition of free minds, free speech, and free thought,” UNC-System President Peter Hans remarked during a January 18 board meeting.

The policy, if accepted by the board, will primarily address compelled speech in the college admissions and faculty hiring processes. 

According to a study released in August by UNC political science faculty, nearly 70-percent of conservative students fear academic and social repercussions for expressing their true beliefs and opinions.

It is great to see that the university system is acting on its findings and ensuring that free speech and diversity of thought are promoted in the classroom and beyond.