Did UNCG provost’s email violate state statute?

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- An email titled "Vote Against Amendment One" was sent from UNC-Greensboro Provost David Perrin's account to several other UNCG addresses.

The email included a link to a video showcasing many prominent people in Greensboro, including Mayor Robbie Perkins, explaining why they are voting against the amendment.

The email said, "Thought you might like to see this wonderful video. Please forward as you deem appropriate. Dave."

The email was then forwarded from another UNCG account to UNCG faculty and staff.

"I think he's abusing his authority. However, he's exercising his right to freedom of speech," said Gary Dunn, UNCG student.

"If these are just his friends or his close staff members, I don't really know if there's a problem with it," said Tiffany Merrit, UNCG student.

UNCG released a statement Wednesday evening.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro became aware late this afternoon of an e-mail sent from a university employee’s e-mail account related to N.C. Amendment One. UNCG immediately began an investigation to determine whether or not any UNC-system policies were violated. The investigation is ongoing.

FOX8 looked at both the state law and the UNCG Handbook. State law says "No state employee shall use the authority of his postion or use state funds, supplies or vehicles... to support or oppose any candidate, party or issue in an election."

In UNCG's policy on computers and electronic resources, it prohibits sending unsolicited mass email messages without proper unit authorization.

"If he was like, 'If you don't vote this way, I'm going to fire you,' that would probably be a problem," Merrit said.

"If he's sending it out to his employees, that's like saying, 'Your boss said this is what you should do.' That doesn't quite seem fair," Dunn said.

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