CHAPEL HILL, NC – Following today’s Special Meeting of the UNC Board of Governors, Chair Harry Smith issued the following statement:
“Today’s meeting of the Board was a robust and healthy discussion about the legal issues related to recent events involving the Silent Sam statue on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. The Board acted in three ways:
First, the Board will engage an outside firm to conduct an external after action assessment and review of UNC-Chapel Hill’s preparation for and response to the August 20 protest. This review will be led by Governors Phil Byers and Bob Rucho, and the results of assessment will be presented to the Board. Given the urgency of this matter, the review will be conducted on an expedited basis.
Second, the Board passed a resolution directing UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees to develop and present to the Board a plan for the monument’s disposition and preservation, by no later than November 15, 2018. A copy of that resolution is [available for download].
Third, there was recognition of the University of North Carolina System’s long-standing devotion to principles of academic freedom and free and open inquiry at all UNC institutions. This environment will continue to flourish only to the extent that members of the University community and visitors to our institutions function and exercise their rights in a responsible manner in accordance with the law. A free and open society such as ours depends on it, and the University will not tolerate or accept the violation of these laws and principles. Therefore, to ensure that UNC institutions provide safe and secure campuses and uphold the principles of free speech and expression, the Board will examine in the coming months ways to improve and better enforce codes of conduct, policies on freedom of expression, and procedures and approaches to ensure UNC institutions are safe and secure.”