October 9, 2015

As the Board of Governor’s at UNC hires a new President, they should ask themselves what higher education is all about. Is it about preparing students for meaningful careers or is it about liberal politics?

There is no better example of wasteful, politically correct politics trumping education than the UNC Law School’s Center for Civil Rights. As a branch of the $27 million law school, the Center for Civil Rights acts as a lawsuit factory attacking the taxpayers who pay the six figure salaries of the Profs who run the law school.

For example, UNC’s Center for Civil Rights is suing the state Department of Environment to shut down hog farmers. They have sued small, rural school districts in the name of Civil Rights, forcing Pitt County to spend half a million dollars of education money on legal fees.

Using the name of the UNC law school, the Center advocates against Voter ID and advises Mr. Morality himself, the Reverend William Barber, the de facto boss of the state Democratic Party.

And in one vindictive court action, the Center for Civil Rights, which claims to be for equal opportunity, actually fought against opportunity scholarships for low income children, scholarships that would allow parents to send their children to better schools.

Of course, it’s no surprise the Center would side with teacher’s unions and the bureaucracy that desperately want to stop parents and kids from having school choice. The Center’s list of supporters and advisers includes a who’s who of Democratic politicians and donors like Jim Hunt and hedge fund billionaire George Soros.

Defending the Center, Director Ted Shaw made no bones about their political advocacy under the cover of a tax funded law school. “We’re civil rights advocates. We have a point of view.” (Raleigh News & Observer)

Yes. They have a point of view. But are taxpayers who have a different point of view under any obligation to pay any part of Mr. Shaw’s $219,500 salary?

North Carolina has 5 other law schools. The next UNC President should examine if taxpayers need to fund a $27 million law school with a political ax to grind. After all, $27 million equals the tuition of 3100 students.

For decades upon decades, UNC has been run by Democratic politicians, donors or academics too inculcated in the PC world of academia to ever even consider changing the system.

With mountains of student debt fueled by rising tuition, the next President should have the courage to think anew. He or she should cut the waste and lower tuition.

And here’s a good place to start. Disband the Center for Civil Rights. Using the name of great university to oppose school choice puts the Center for Civil Rights in the company of George Wallace, Lester Maddox and Theodore Bilbo, not Frederick Douglas, Andrew Young and Martin Luther King.