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Former Law Dean Nichol Now Heading Poverty Center

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The law school’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, created in 2005 and originally led by former U.S. Sen. John R. Edwards ’77 (JD), is now directed by Gene Nichol, former dean of the school.

Nichol has succeeded Marion Crain, who left the school last summer for a position on the law faculty at Washington University in St. Louis.

Nichol has written and taught extensively in the areas of constitutional law, federal courts, civil rights, economic injustice and election law.

“Nichol is well-suited to lead this center,” said Dean Jack Boger. “He is a remarkable scholar and an energetic leader who cares deeply about issues of fairness and equality. I expect his leadership to fortify the center’s efforts.”

Nichol was dean of the school from 1999 to 2005, and he founded the school’s Center for Civil Rights in 2001. He left UNC to become president of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., a position he left in February 2008 amid controversy. He previously served as law dean at the University of Colorado (1988-95) and the James Gould Cutler Professor and director of the Institute of Bill of Rights Law at William & Mary (1985-88). Nichol founded the Byron White Center of Constitutional Law at the University of Colorado.

UNC’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity was developed to address the needs of people living at or below the poverty level, to provide a nonpartisan interdisciplinary forum to examine innovative and practical ideas to move more Americans out of poverty, to raise public awareness of issues related to work and poverty, and to train a new generation to combat the causes and effects of poverty and improve the circumstances of working people.


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