“Protect academic freedom in N.C.”

Charlotte Observer editorial: “What’s happening to UNC Chapel Hill law professor Gene Nichol should trouble all of us in North Carolina. A campaign appears afoot to silence his criticism of Republicans and their legislative policies that Nichol deems harmful to the state and its residents….In email records obtained by the (Raleigh) News & Observer, criticism by Republican supporters of GOP Gov. Pat McCrory – including university board members, alumni and others – spurred the university to request notice when Nichol writes opinion pieces. University officials also asked him to omit his title as director of the privately funded, university-based Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity when the issue does not directly involve poverty. Last October after he criticized the governor and legislature for election law changes that this editorial board has also lambasted as partisan and racially motivated, the school asked him to include an explicit disclaimer that “he doesn’t speak for UNC.”…It is understandable officials would make such requests, given the legislative rock and hard place the university finds itself in these days. Budget director Art Pope just last month chastised university officials for submitting a funding request that asks for what they needed rather than acceding to his directive for something much less. After his tongue-lashing, officials revised their request substantially downward.”

Art Pope?  Now where have I heard that name before?  Oh yeah.

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