According to tweets by NC Policy Watch environmental reporter Lisa Sorg, UNC terminated the employment of UNC Center for Civil Rights staff Elizabeth Haddix and Mark Dorosin as of 5 p.m. Thursday, two months before they were originally slated to end their work.
In an automatic email reply Haddix said, "UNC abruptly terminated (her) employment, effective Nov. 30."
Haddix and Dorosin were originally supposed to retain their jobs at the Center until Jan. 12, when the Center was predicted to run out of funds.
Joanne Peters Denny, director of media relations at UNC, confirmed the University's actions in an email statement Thursday.
"The University has been working to wind down the advocacy and litigation work of the Center for Civil Rights since the Board of Governor’s September decision, and following the recent action by the state bar, Dean Brinkley informed the law school that work would be accelerated," the statement said. "The University is grateful for the service of Mark Dorosin and Elizabeth Haddix during their time with the Center."
The University's decision comes in the wake of the UNC Board of Governors' controversial September vote to ban the Center from litigating.
Before the vote, the Center provided pro bono work for low income and minority groups and trained UNC School of Law students through experiential learning.
The issue spurred months of debate and protest. Proponents of the ban argued litigation at academic centers is against UNC's mission to do legal work against other government entities. Critics said it would damage the University's reputation and students' legal education.
As of Thursday evening, Haddix and Dorosin could not be reached for comment.
This story will be updated with more information as it becomes available. Check here for updates.
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