Last month, UNC-Chapel Hill faculty penned an open letter airing criticism of both the North Carolina General Assembly and the UNC Board of Trustees. Among their complaints was the allegation that the proposed new School of Civic Life and Leadership (SCiLL) is a “clear violation” of governance principles.
But the faculty don’t have the full story. More of the truth is finally coming out about the proposed school at UNC-Chapel Hill, my alma mater, where I am a member of the Board of Trustees.
The idea for the new school’s pro-democracy curriculum goes back years—and has involved faculty input from the beginning, contrary to the false narrative perpetuated by political partisans and other opponents of free and open learning and debate on campus.
As confirmed publicly by Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Christopher Clemens, the administration’s proposal for SCiLL grew out of Carolina’s Program for Public Discourse and its IDEAs in Action curriculum, which themselves arose from campus discussions dating back to 2017. Their aims were to promote open, civil debate on campus and to equip students for success in our diverse nation and world.