[Source Description: 20 May 1965: Telegram, Emmett B. Fields, Chair of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, to Chancellor Paul F. Sharp, From the Records of the Office of Chancellor -- Paul F. Sharp Series (#40021), University Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.]
This telegram formally established what the UNC administrators and the Board of Trustees had feared for some time: that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) was threatening to take away accreditation from the University due to the Speaker Ban. SACS felt that the Speaker Ban was tantamount to "political interference," which hampered educational pursuits. In their view, the ban removed the traditional and necessary authority of the Board of Trustees to handle speakers and, therefore, was an affront to academic freedom. This telegram gave notice that SACS would determine the fate of UNC's accreditation at their next meeting in December of 1965.