A Tuesday vote could lead to the withdrawal of power of the UNC Center for Civil Rights to enter into litigation on behalf of low-income underrepresented communities across the state.
The Education Planning, Policies and Programs committee of the UNC System Board of Governors is set to meet about the proposed litigation ban at the Center for School Leadership Development near the Friday Center at noon on Tuesday. The proposal has drawn national criticism from those saying it will damage the reputation of the UNC School of Law.
Chancellor Carol Folt said at last week’s UNC – Chapel Hill Board of Trustees meeting that the administration was continuing to support the center.
“It’s a chance for [the committee] to make their final deliberation,” Folt said of Tuesday’s meeting. “We’ve been supportive of the center; we put forward the things that they instructed us to do, and I’m looking forward to talking with them at the meeting.”
Mark Dorosin is the managing attorney for the center. Speaking with WCHL last week, he was not optimistic about the upcoming vote.
“Several members of the board have already made clear how they intend to vote,” Dorosin said. “The motivation is clearly ideological.”
Dorosin criticized the proposed ban, describing it as “micromanaging” by the Board of Governors. He also maintained that it would effectively end the center as a whole.
In discussing the proposed ban, some board members have said the university should not be involved in litigation against the state and other local government bodies. The center does not operate with any state-allocated funding.
One proposed alternative to the litigation ban called for changing the name of the center to the Julius Chambers Center for Civil Rights – named after the center’s founder and long-time civil rights attorney.
Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for noon. A press conference is scheduled to take place supporting the center at 11 o’clock.
If the committee approves of the ban, it could go before the full board in September.