Pope Foundation gives $700,000 to NCSU

STAFF WRITERJuly 31, 2009 

— N.C. State University has received a $700,000 grant extension from a Raleigh-based foundation that has been controversial in local academic circles because of its conservative views.

The five-year grant from the John W. Pope Foundation will support teaching and research on issues relating to public policy, politics, economics and law, and will continue support of the student group Society for Politics, Economics and the Law.

Faculty at NCSU and UNC-Chapel Hill have spoken against taking money from the foundation, which, among other things, has supported a center that has often been critical of the state's public universities.

In 2004, some UNC-CH faculty objected to a foundation proposal to give at least $500,000 a year for five years to create a western culture studies program. That initiative was abandoned, but the foundation later donated $2.3 million to UNC-CH, much of which was used to create an investment fund to raise the salaries of assistant football coaches, though $300,000 from that gift created new study-abroad and summer programs for undergrads studying western cultures.

At NCSU, the new grant extension will continue the funding for the university's "Economic, Legal and Political Foundations of Free Societies" project, which includes a lecture series, undergraduate courses and research grants for students and faculty. It will add funding for visiting scholars and for materials and administrative support.

The grant money was awarded jointly to the Department of Economics in the College of Management and the School of Public and International Affairs' Department of Political Science in the university's College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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