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UNC Board Approves Tuition Hikes, Closes 3 Policy Centers

From a Vine by Andrew Dunn
Charlotte Observer

The 32-member UNC Board of Governors unanimously voted this afternoon to close three university-based policy centers. The action included closure of UNC- Chapel Hill’s Center for Poverty, Work and Opportunity.

“I disagree with this action. I hoped we could find a different way of going forward,” said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt. “What the faculty and students I believe are saying is they’re very fearful this decision is having a chilling effect on their work and their perspectives on the area of poverty.”

The UNC Board, which gathered on the campus of UNC-Charlotte, also voted to close East Carolina’s Center for Biodiversity and North Carolina Central’s Institute for Civic Engagement. The governing body also raised tuition next fall for in-state undergraduate students to $6,220 at North Carolina State and $6,648 at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Earlier, the Board temporarily suspended its meeting as protestors interrupted discussions on whether to close the anti-poverty center aand two other policy centers at North Carolina Central and East Carolina University.

WFAE’s Gwendolyn Glenn says security had to remove some protestors.

“Some were students, some were older people, one said she was a professor. They were asked to sit down. They refused. Security came in and removed some people. At that point the chants started…so it got really hectic. They stopped the meeting and moved it to another room.”

The meeting was streamed to a separate room for the public. Much of the controversy surrounds the anti-poverty center. It’s headed by Gene Nichol, a sharp critic of Republican lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.