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About Us

Our Vision

To support a strong culture of debate and deliberation at UNC through curricular and extracurricular programs. We base our work on the following core beliefs.

  • The university is a center for the creation, exploration, and dissemination of knowledge, and it serves a unique role both in history and in our contemporary culture.
  • The proper functioning of the university requires a commitment to open, frank, respectful, and productive debate.
  • When our faculty, by practice and example, teach students how to think and argue well, with the processes and terms of rational justification open to examination, they strengthen our democracy and our public lives.
South Building
“The search for knowledge is most robust when deliberation occurs and diverse ideas are discussed intelligently and constructively by the students and faculty.”
Terry Rhodes
architectural concrete detail

Our Mission

To build our students’ capacities for debate and deliberation, enabling them to be better citizens, civic leaders, and stewards of our democracy.

How we execute our mission is important in gaining university-wide support and maximizing internal and external resources.

  • Transparent and welcoming of input
  • Focused on constructive public discourse
  • Student-centered
  • Strong partners – internally & externally

Read more in our Mission Statement.

We will achieve our mission through actions in three areas:
  1. Faculty Collaboration
    Highlight capacities for debate, oral communication, critical thinking, structured argumentation, deep content knowledge and epistemic humility.
  2. Events
    Offer the broader UNC community and general public perspectives on important issues that they may not otherwise get on campus. These events are ideally constructed to showcase constructive debate and diverse viewpoints.
  3. Student Opportunities
    We connect our students directly with our speakers through classroom visits where they can apply the concepts from our events directly to their coursework. Furthermore, students are welcome to join the PPD as Agora Fellows, engaging with one another in reading groups, debates, and dialogues.