December 20, 2001
Email from John C. Cavanaugh
From: Cavanaugh, John C.
Subject: UNC-Wilmington Invades Professor's Privacy
I am writing in response to your email.
Contrary to some reports, Dr. Adams was never investigated, threatened, or sanctioned for saying anything by this administration. In fact, the administration on three occasions refused to grant a request filed to us under the Public Records Law of North Carolina seeking blanket access to his correspondence. We asked for and received the support of the Attorney General of North Carolina in denying access to Dr. Adams' records to the complainant. We gave our full support for Dr. Adams' right to speak freely on any issue, a point he acknowledged on national television (the Hannity and Colmes show). Even after we were forced to respond to a narrowly framed request for certain records, we did not turn over any records to the requestor because none were relevant. The bottom line is that Dr. Adams has not ever been stifled by this administration, a point he has publicly acknowledged. I and others in the administration have been quite vocal in our support of faculty members' rights to speak open and freely in support of whatever position they choose.
Given this administration's public defense of free speech and our repeated willingness to deny access to faculty members' correspondence to the extent allowed by law on the grounds of privacy, I believe you have been misled by shoddy journalistic reporting by individuals who did not ever check firsthand sources.
John C. Cavanaugh, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
111 Alderman Hall
601 S. College Road
Wilmington, NC 38403-5900