Yesterday’s meeting of a special committee of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors included passage of a much-awaited report about centers and institutes, with recommendations that a poverty-focused center run by an outspoken law professor be shut down.
You can read my full report about the recommendations here,
Though the closure of the poverty center has garnered much of the news coverage from Wednesday’s meeting, the most contentious aspect, by far, was discussion about another center, the Center for Civil Rights in UNC-Chapel Hill’s law school.
The board of governors’ committee recommended that the center stay open, but that UNC-Chapel Hill campus officials review the center within a year and tighten up policies regarding political participation and advocacy work.
Fierce objections to the center’s existence were also vocalized Wednesday by Steven Long, a UNC Board of Governor member. Long, a Raleigh attorney with the Parker Poe law firm, is a former board member of the Civitas Institute, a conservative think-tank and political action group.
Below is video of Long’s comments:
Ted Shaw, the director of UNC’s Center for Civil Rights last year, said Long’s attack included false representations of the work done at the civil rights center.
Wednesday’s draft recommendations, which will be considered next week by the full UNC Board of Governors, also suggested that the Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change at N.C. Central University and the N.C. Center for Biodiversity at East Carolina University, which may have its work shifted to a department.
The civic engagement center slated for closure is funded with $4,500 of in-kind support and run by Jarvis Hall, an NCCU political science professor who also serves in a leadership role with the N.C. chapter of the NAACP.
A draft of the report can also be read below.