BANGOR, Maine — Maine’s state university system is exploring changes to its free speech policy that some faculty members warn could have a chilling effect in the classroom.

The Bangor Daily News reports the University of Maine System board of trustees’ policy would prohibit faculty members from engaging in political activity while on the job or while acting in an official capacity.

Administrators say this policy would prevent the system from losing its nonprofit status or federal funding.

Jim McClymer, president of university system faculty union, says the policy could prevent staff from discussing political issues in the classroom. He says it could also prevent faculty from using their expertise for the state.

The university system’s lead attorney says he expects changes to the proposal before the board of trustees decides to adopt.