The director of that center, Gene Nichol, has been an outspoken critic of the governor and of the NC General Assembly. He has published op-eds in the Raleigh News & Observer which pointed out that laws passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. McCrory are hurting the citizens of this state.
In response to the news, Nichol has a statement that was posted on the News&Observer site late yesterday. In it, he says,
I have been repeatedly informed, even officially, that my opinion pieces have “caused great ire and dismay” among state officials and that, unless I stopped publishing in The News & Observer, “external forces might combine in the months ahead” to force my dismissal. Today those threats are brought to fruition. The Board of Governors’ tedious, expensive and supremely dishonest review process yields the result it sought all along – closing the Poverty Center. This charade, and the censorship it triggers, demeans the board, the university, academic freedom and the Constitution."External forces," the higher-ups warned, "might combine in the months ahead." Yep. The most potent of those "external forces" was and is Art Pope, who's had a hard-on for molding the university in his own image. He's also built his empire on exploiting poor people with his junk merchandise at his dollar stores. Art Pope wasn't on the "evaluation committee," but his ideology most definitely was. Art Pope-ism has infiltrated everything in this state, like radioactive dust swirled up by the denotation of a thermonuclear device.
Two other centers were also fingered for elimination, and from their names/locations, perhaps you can guess why: East Carolina's Center for Biodiversity and N.C. Central University's Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change. Nothing gets the Right Wing's back up like any hint of "social change," and the Pope Empire has long carried a grudge against "diversity" of all kinds, especially the "bio" sort.