POL 04.25.01 – Freedom of Speech and Expression

Authority: Board of Trustees

History: First Issued: May 20, 1983. Last Revised: March 13, 2023.

Related Policies:
UNC Code Section 600 – Freedom and Responsibility in the University Community
UNC Policy 1300.8 – Free Speech and Free Expression Within the University of North Carolina

UNC Policy 300.5.1 – Political Activities of Employees
NCSU REG 11.60.03 – Reservation of Space in Talley Union
NCSU REG 11.55.02 – Use of University Space

Additional References:
UNC Code: Appendix I.C (Personnel), XII (Students), and XV (Security)

NCGS 14-11
NCGS 14-12.1

Contact Info: Vice Chancellor and General Counsel (919-515-3071)


  1. Academic freedom, free speech and free expression are fundamental to the mission and purposes of NC State University. NC State supports, encourages and upholds the freedom of inquiry for students, faculty and staff, to the end that they may pursue these goals responsibly through teaching, learning, research, discussion and publication without restraints that would unreasonably restrict their academic endeavors. Furthermore, students, faculty and staff share the responsibility for maintaining an environment in which free speech flourishes and in which the rights of each member of the University community are respected.
  2. Free expression guaranteed to students, faculty and staff shall also be provided to invited speakers at NC State. All invited speakers shall be allowed to present their views without “material and substantial” disruption and without “substantial interference” as those terms are defined by UNC Policy 1300.8. Invited speakers’ appearances shall be in accordance with NC State policies and regulations. NC State is committed to an orderly process of inquiry and discussion. It is necessary to the preservation of our free society that NC State remains free to examine all ideologies to the end that the educational purposes of this institution shall be served.
  3. The right of free discussion of divergent ideas shall be protected, defended, and upheld  in a manner consistent with federal and state laws. The right to present the opposing point of view in an appropriate manner, forum, and time shall be assured. At the same time, the appearance of any individual on the campus does not mean that the University approves what that individual says or represents and does not imply an endorsement.
  4. Students, faculty or staff who “materially and substantially disrupts” the functioning of the University, or any unit or entity of the University, or who “substantially interferes” with the protected free expression of others, will be considered to have engaged in misconduct and will be subject to the full range of disciplinary sanctions in accordance with applicable procedures consistent with UNC Policy 1300.8, and may face criminal charges under state law. Visitors who engage in such misconduct may be barred from campus and may face criminal charges under state law.
  5. The chancellor is delegated authority to implement this policy, to assure compliance with UNC Policy 1300.8, and to adopt regulations. The chancellor may make further delegations to fulfill this duty