Provost of UNCW resigns, short tenure overshadowed by censorship

Brian Chapman, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, resigned this week after a less than a year-long tenure. The resignation came shortly after the UNCW Faculty Senate passed a motion admonishing the UNCW administration for not consulting with the Women’s Resource Center, Faculty Senate Steering Committee and other interested parties before requesting the censorship of a large part of the Century Project, an exhibition which visited the UNCW campus earlier this year.

The Project presents a chronological series of nude photographic portraits of diverse girls and women of many ages, shapes, sizes, and conditions, plus their personal statements about their bodies and experiences. A complaint from an associate professor in Oklahoma was sent to colleges where The Project was to appear, telling them to reject it. It claimed that The Century Project was pornographic and harmed women. At UNCW, the complaint went to the Chancellor and the Provost. After receiving the complaint, the Provost banned the photos of anyone under 18. UNCW became the only organization to censor the Project in its long history.

The NCAC sent a letter to Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo arguing that the decision to censor the show violated well-established principles of academic freedom and displayed disregard for the core mission of an educational institution. It also stated that the censorship of art was likely to damage UNCW’s reputation vastly more than permitting the display of a well-regarded art project.

The act of censorship was not stated as an official reason involved in Brian Chapman’s resignation, though it certainly overshadows his short tenure at UNCW.


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Blogging Censorship is where National Coalition Against Censorship staff weigh in on the censorship issues on their minds.
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One Response to Provost of UNCW resigns, short tenure overshadowed by censorship

  1. Dr. P. Rapoport says:

    Both the Provost and the Chancellor refused to listen to anyone who might give them correct information. They also refused to do basic homework on their own concerning The Century Project. In addition, the Provost received upwards of a hundred letters or messages pointing out his error which he refused to acknowledge.

    His decision to censor the exhibition was pointless; the book of the project is widely available, and the student newspaper at UNCW printed all the banned photographs and stories.

    The letter mentioned was from a crank at the University of Oklahoma who is known for producing bad work, falsifying others’ research, and being an arrogant bully.

    That the UNCW acted as it did based on false and malicious lies suggests that it is not a centre of higher education but a place under the control of fearful, bigoted ideologs.

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