UNC-Chapel Hill faculty threatens to withhold grades – Interim Chancellor and Provost Clemens respond


by Michelle Cassell
Managing Editor 

The UNC Faculty and Staff for Justice shared an open letter signed by 760 faculty and staff on Monday to the media. Interim Chancellor Roberts and Provost Clemens addressed rumors about faculty instructors withholding grades, which was not part of the letter. The letter reads as follows from a letter supplied by UNC media.

Dear Deans and Department Chairs,

We are hearing concerns from students whose instructors have informed them they will withhold grades as part of a protest. These students depend on the timely submission of their grades for graduation, jobs, and athletic eligibility, and it is part of the required duties of all faculty and graduate TAs to submit grades by the registrar’s deadlines.

We are asking you to please work with your faculty and graduate students to ensure that we follow exemplary practice in our work as educators. We strongly support the right of faculty and graduate
students to express their opinions freely but there are better ways to do this than hurting our students and abrogating our contract with the people of North Carolina who support our university. We are counting on your leadership in this matter.

The provost’s office will support sanctions for any instructor who is found to have improperly withheld grades, but is our hope we can resolve this matter amicably and without harm to students.

Excellence in the classroom and in research are a credit to the institution and a vital service to the students and people of North Carolina. It would be a disservice to all of you and to the institution if a minority of instructors were to damage the trust we hold with our students by withholding grades. Thank you for your support.

The letter read on Monday stated deep concerns from faculty and staff about how the administration and UNC Police responded to the protestors on campus.

“The administration’s decision to call in police from across the state to storm our students’ encampment at 5:30 in the morning on Tuesday, April 30, created a militarized and unsafe climate on the UNC campus,” the letter states.
Another portion of the letter was aimed at the chancellor’s public statement:

The vice chancellors’ communications misrepresented facts, unjustly blaming students for disruptions and violence that they themselves had caused. We reject their duplicitous communication to the campus community. We denounce the unjust treatment of our students and the administration’s abdication of its responsibility to foster and protect freedom of speech on campus.

As of publication of this article it is not known it any grades have been or will be withheld. UNC media responded on May 8 at 2:00 p.m. that they had no updates.

Michelle Cassell is a seasoned reporter who has covered everything from crime to hurricanes and local politics to human interest over the course of 35 years. As managing editor, she hopes to encourage writers of a wide range of backgrounds and interests in TLR’s coverage of Southern Orange County news. 
This reporter can be reached at Info@TheLocalReporter.press

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1 Comment on "UNC-Chapel Hill faculty threatens to withhold grades – Interim Chancellor and Provost Clemens respond"

  1. The faculty is proving once again why conservatives in Raleigh have become so active in University affairs. The faculty has brought it upon themselves by being so tone deaf to the sensibilities of at least one-half of the students and residents of this state. For a group of supposedly educated people who scream for “diversity”, they consistently value only their own viewpoints. It is irresponsible and a breach of the their duty to serve all of the people in North Carolina.

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