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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Law school faculty committee still mulling Pope-funded constitution center

Posted by on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 3:49 PM

The curriculum committee of the N.C. Central University School of Law is still reviewing a proposal (PDF) from the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law to establish a center on the NCCU campus, according to university officials. The proposal came from NCICL director and former N.C. Supreme Court Associate Justice Bob Orr, but stirred controversy with some faculty, law school students and alumni because Republican activist Art Pope, is a major funder of the organization.

Pope's family foundation would provide $600,000 start-up money for a center to study the state constitution. The proposition also states putting the NCICL center on campus would enhance the constitutional and civil rights concentration at the law school.

The NCCU law school curriculum committee, made of a dozen law school faculty, met Sept. 13 and "elected to devote more time to the possible pros and cons before making a final recommendation to the full faculty," according to an e-mail from law school Dean Raymond Pierce.

That follow-up meeting hasn't yet been scheduled, said committee member Professor Irv Joyner. The committee will decide whether to bring the proposal to the entire law school faculty at a future meeting. If the faculty doesn't support the idea of establishing the center, the proposal stops there, Joyner said.

If the faculty votes yes, the proposal will be subject to additional approvals by NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms, the university's trustees and the UNC Board of Governors.

Stay tuned.

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