Consent Decree, 1979-1981

The federal government threatened again to terminate federal funding in 1979. North Carolina sued the Department of Education (the department that replaced the department for Health, Education, and Welfare) and the U.S. District Court negotiated a type of agreement referred to as a consent decree. The new plan was similar to the earlier desegregation plans, with the key difference being that the courts and not the Office of Civil Rights would monitor the state's desegregation plan.

The N.C. Alumni and Friends Coalition (NCAFC) expressed their distrust of the ability of the courts to monitor UNC system compliance with the new plan. Julius Chambers, a former Board of Governors member, stated in a later interview that he felt that the consent decree had very limited goals for minority enrollment and did nothing to enhance historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

When the UNC system announced the consent decree, President William Friday sent out a memorandum to informing all the campuses of the new minority enrollment requirements. This plan required institutions like North Carolina State University to almost double the number of minorities attending the university in six years.

Visit other Exhibits in Crossing the Color Line.