Following up on my previous posts (links below): News & Observer editorial, Cutting the UNC Law School Budget Is a Clumsy Attempt to Quiet a Critic:
The state Senate proposes to cut 30 percent of the school’s state appropriation, or $4 million. ... The proposed cut isn’t aimed at Martin Brinkley, the respected and affable dean who took over in 2015 after a successful career in corporate law. Brinkley is a North Carolinian who moves well among Republicans and Democrats and he’s most interested in preparing law students for careers.
Rather, the proposal seems to squarely target Gene Nichol, another unquestionably brilliant faculty member. ... That’s not responsible budgeting. It’s petty revenge politics, and at its worst, it’s a dangerous attempt to muffle free speech in a place where it should thrive. If anything, his outspokenness spurs more intelligent debate from the right as well as the left. ...
The law school ... has turned out generation after generation of North Carolina’s leaders from the courthouse to Congress. That mission is needed; it is noble.
Republican legislators have control of the UNC Board of Governors and the General Assembly. Some of them are products of the UNC law school. They have nothing to fear from a professor who speaks his mind.
Above the Law, Just Checking In — Yup, North Carolina Politicians Still Stupid:
North Carolina politicians are bumbling their way toward ... [gutting] the University of North Carolina School of Law budget — nixing 30 percent of the state appropriation — for the sole purpose of squelching a professor whose research center highlights the legislature’s piss-poor efforts at managing the state economy. After politicians got his first research center shuttered, Professor Gene Nichol started the N.C. Poverty Research Fund with private funds to continue pointing out the government’s failures. Unable to squelch Nichol’s work through direct intervention, they’ve now moved on to attacking the law school at large, regardless of the damage that does to the future of the state. ...
[T]he effort to cut off the law school just to keep from having to respond to a critic is a dangerous and short-sighted move. In a state where a law school was literally cut off by the Department of Educationfor its performance, North Carolina should be redoubling its efforts to protect an affordable, high-quality public law school.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage: