Update regarding free speech and expression on campus

Dear Appalachian Community:

As this academic year begins to wind down, I want to provide you with an update regarding free speech and expression on campus.

As you may know, each UNC constituent institution has identified individuals tasked with ensuring compliance with the law and UNC policy regarding free speech and expression on campus, and for answering any related questions or concerns from students, faculty members, staff employees, or others related to campus free speech or free expression. I am currently one of Appalachian's identified "responsible officers," along with Jeff Cathey, interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Director of Student Engagement and Leadership. In our roles, Jeff and I work closely with units across campus to meet the needs of our faculty, staff, and students.

You can find more information about this, as well as a statement regarding the UNC System's commitment to free speech and free expression here.

Appalachian State University is committed to maintaining an environment in which freedom of speech is affirmed, maintained, and celebrated, including during times like this past year, when much of our time was spent in a virtual world. As we embrace and strive to uphold the freedoms of speech and expression as guaranteed by the United States and North Carolina Constitutions, we also seek to create an environment of inclusive excellence that is welcoming to all members of our community.

Throughout each academic year, numerous university departments and organizations in the Appalachian Community enhance dialogue on freedom of speech and resultant issues and outcomes. These take the form of classroom discussions and dialogue, programs, and events, including the annual celebration of Constitution Day. During these events, we honor, celebrate, and acknowledge our constitution, and engage in activities that cover First Amendment topics.

In addition, I would like to call your attention to some of the resources available year-round to assist faculty, staff and students. As you plan events, I hope these might be helpful to you.

Key policies include:

  • · UNC Policy 1300.8, which addresses free speech and free expression in the University of North Carolina system.
  • · Appalachian’s Facility Use Policy, which outlines processes specific to our university related to freedom of speech.

Other resources available to students, faculty and staff include:

I encourage you to contact me (bergmanjz@appstate.edu) or Jeff Cathey (catheyjd@appstate.edu) if you have questions and/or feedback about how to develop and encourage discussions in and out of the classroom, or if you have concerns or are facing challenges regarding your right to freedom of expression.


Dr. Jacqui Bergman
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Published: Apr 13, 2021 12:48pm