Section Navigation

Noted law professor and anti-poverty advocate Gene Nichol to speak Sept. 10 at Appalachian

BOONE—Gene Nichol, the noted law professor and anti-poverty advocate, will speak at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts at Appalachian State University Thursday, Sept. 10, at 8 p.m. His talk is titled “Poverty, Politics and Academic Freedom in North Carolina.”

Nichol’s visit has been organized by the university’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). This event is free and open to the public.

View larger image

Nichol is the Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor of Law at UNC Chapel Hill. From 2008-15, he ran UNC’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, which was founded in 2004 to “advocate for proposals, policies and services to mitigate poverty in North Carolina.”

In 2015, the UNC Board of Governors voted to shut down three university-based centers, including the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. Nichol was outspoken in his criticism of the decision affecting the poverty center. In February, he wrote an op-ed published in the Raleigh News & Observer about the board’s actions

Alongside his work as a professor, Nichol is a prominent public intellectual, who regularly contributes to Raleigh News & Observer and The Progressive Populist. He has also written for The Nation and the Washington Post for over a dozen years. He is, moreover, a major legal scholar and the author of “Federal Courts” (third edition, West, 2015) and a contributor to “Where We Stand: Voices of Southern Dissent” (NewSouth, 2008). His articles have appeared in the law reviews of Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Duke and Virginia.

From 2005-08, Nichol was president of the College of William and Mary. Previously, he was dean of the law school at UNC from 1999 to 2005 and at the University of Colorado from 1988-95. From 1985-88, he was director of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Institute.

Nichol’s talk will be streamed at

For more information, contact AAUP Chapter President Dr. Michael C. Behrent at or 828-719-5759.