North Carolina Scraps Plan to Consider Elizabeth City State Closure

The North Carolina state Senate reversed itself over the weekend and removed a provision in its $21.2 billion budget that would have called for plans to potentially close Elizabeth City State University, a historically Black school that has struggled with declining enrollment and its resulting financial challenges.

The original bill included a two-line passage that would have directed the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to devise a plan studying the feasibility of “dissolving any constituent institution whose fall full-time equivalent student enrollment declined by more than twenty percent (20%) between the 2010-2011 fiscal year and the 2013-2014 fiscal year.” Elizabeth City State was the only university in the state that met the criteria.

After backlash from the Legislative Black Caucus and allies of HBCUs, the Senate unanimously voted to delete the provision.