The proposal under consideration by The Board of Governors’ Educational Policy committee to stop the Center for Civil Rights from litigating against state and other entities defies the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill to “extend knowledge-based services and other resources of the University to the citizens of North Carolina and their institutions to enhance the quality of life for all people in the State.” (http://www.unc.edu/about/mission)
Through litigation, the Center for Civil Rights has fought for school desegregation, environmental justice, fair housing practices and compensation for survivors of involuntary sterilization by the state. Doing so, it has worked with clients who lack the means to find representation elsewhere.
The center has also provided UNC students with invaluable education and experience in practical, hands-on litigation. Moreover, the center has done all this without state funds.
Given the center’s contributions to the research, teaching and public service requirements of centers and institutes by the UNC system, we as faculty urge the Board of Governors to support the center and continue to allow it to do the work that has made life better, fairer and safer for all North Carolinians.
Professor of Sociology, UNC-Chapel Hill
Professor of Law, UNC-Chapel Hill
The letter was signed by 121 other faculty members of UNC-Chapel Hill.