700 Professors Oppose Teaching US Constitution 

Hundreds of professors at the University of North Carolina signed a public letter on Tuesday opposing legislation that would require university students to take courses on the United States Constitution.


The 673 UNC Chapel Hill professors revealed the public letter, arguing that the new courses and another bill in the North Carolina House of Representatives would constitute an infringement on the university’s “academic freedom.”

The first piece of legislation, House Bill 96, would require students to take a three-credit-hour course covering America’s founding and history. 

Required reading for the course would include the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, at least five essays from the Federalist Papers, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ‘s Letter from Birmingham Jail, and the Gettysburg Address.

The professors argue that the legislation “violates core principles of academic freedom” and “substitutes ideological force-feeding for the intellectual expertise of faculty.” 

The second bill, H.B. 715, would eliminate tenure at UNC and its affiliated campuses, establish minimum class sizes, and require colleges to report “all non-instructional research performed by higher education personnel at the institution.” The 673 professors decry both bills as an attack on “expertise,” arguing the government courses preach about indoctrination.

Debate swirls over legislation removing tenure for future faculty 

According to the letter signed by the horde of disgruntled UNC professors, university leaders are not respecting the independence of the campus and are trying to impose their ideological beliefs on students’ education. The note argues that protecting academic freedom and shared governance is critical for UNC to maintain its reputation in public education. 

The instructors claim the legislation would threaten academic freedom, but completely eliminating the choice to take government courses eliminates the freedom of choice. Supporters of the bills also argue they guarantee students receive a well-rounded education and understand the principles on which the country was founded.

Debate on the legislation is likely to continue, with both supporters and opponents making their cases for and against the bills. In the meantime, students and faculty members in North Carolina will be watching closely to see how the legislation plays out and how it could impact their right to receive a quality education.

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