Joe Killian

Joe Killian

Investigative Reporter Joe Killian's work examines government, politics and policy, with a special emphasis on higher education, LGBTQ issues and extremism.

Tonight: UNC-Chapel Hill panel discussion on “Faith and Abortion”

By: - March 22, 2023

On Wednesday evening UNC-Chapel Hill’s Program for Public Discourse will hold a panel discussion on Faith and Abortion as the last event in its Abbey Speaker Series this academic year. The discussion comes as the Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly pursues new restrictions on abortion, part of a wave of such legislation […]

Monday numbers: The youth mental health crisis

By: - March 20, 2023

Last week, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services held its eighth in a series of state-wide town halls on mental health. Held in Winston-Salem, the discussion focused on the crisis in youth mental health apparent in North Carolina and across the nation.

“Behavioral health is essential to health,” DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley told the standing-room-only crowd in the Forsyth County Board Commissioners chamber Thursday. “For far too long we have divided up physical and behavioral health. And for far too long we just didn’t fund and support behavioral health in a way that made it foundational. And we’re changing that - one conversation at a time, one strategy at a time.”

General Assembly asking for info on DEI at UNC campuses as GOP targets diversity efforts

By: - March 17, 2023

This week the N.C. General Assembly’s Joint Legislative Commission on Government Operations requested documents related to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) training programs through the UNC System and all of its 17 campuses. The request, according to a Tuesday letter from Derrick Welch, director of Senate Majority Staff Government Operations, is part of the […]

Town Hall on Youth Mental Health to be held in Winston-Salem Thursday

By: - March 16, 2023

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will hold a town hall Thursday evening on the mental health crisis among children and teens. The discussion will bring together NCDHHS officials and state lawmakers to get input from the public and talk about possible solutions. The most recent data from the federal Centers for […]

New names for UNC Board of Governors are familiar political faces

By: - March 14, 2023

The North Carolina Senate is poised to add two former Republican legislators to the UNC Board of Governors — a body long criticized as overly partisan, top-heavy with lobbyists and former GOP lawmakers and lacking in diversity. The Senate’s Select Committee on Nominations met briefly Tuesday morning to consider six names for the board — […]

‘Good, serious ideas’: Commission on university governance talks transparency, amplifying student voices

By: - March 14, 2023

Should students and faculty have more prominent voices on boards of trustees at UNC System schools? Should the system’s board of governors elect members geographically, be more transparent and open to public input? And will any of these suggestions matter to a Republican dominated legislature resistant to such changes? These were a few of the questions members of the Governor’s Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina tackled in its third public listening session on Monday. The session, held at the Charlotte Area Chamber of Commerce, drew a sparse but vocal crowd – typical of the listening sessions held so far.

Duke grad students continue unionization efforts without recognition from administration

By: - March 9, 2023

Duke University grad students are pushing forward with their campaign to unionize, despite the administration declining to voluntarily recognize and negotiate with their union. As Policy Watch has reported, the Duke Graduate Students Union filed for a union election last Friday. In a Monday e-mail to doctoral students and faculty, Interim Provost Jennifer Francis said […]

HPU Poll looks at favorability for governor, presidential candidates

By: - March 8, 2023

The results of the latest High Point University Poll, released Wednesday, give some insight into how North Carolinians view everything from the job being done by Gov. Roy Cooper and President Joe Biden to the name recognition of potential candidates to replace them both in office. Cooper continued to have the strongest support of any […]

New book, panel at Duke University explore the politics of the Marvel film phenomenon

By: - March 8, 2023

Like so many things, for good or ill, it started on Twitter. A whole host of political scientists from across the country had just seen 2019’s Avengers: Endgame and were discussing it online. But then, much of the world was. Upon release the film, a climactic point in the phenomenally successful Marvel Cinematic Universe of interconnected superhero films, had a worldwide opening of more than $1 billion. It would go on to become the then-highest grossing film of all time, making nearly $2.8 billion worldwide.

New Meredith College poll looks at views on discrimination, Equal Rights Amendment

By: - March 6, 2023

New polling from Meredith College examines North Carolinians’ views of discrimination and the Equal Rights Amendment, which seeks to provide protections for those experiencing it. The full report on the poll, produced in partnership with the ERA-NC Alliance, was published Monday. It delves into how different North Carolinians see discrimination against an array of different […]

The month ahead in Higher Ed

By: - March 6, 2023

Mark your calendars for these higher education related meetings, listening sessions and events over the next month: Wednesday, March 8 “The Politics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe” – a panel discussion promoting the new book in which more than 25 scholars examine the way the phenomenally successful Marvel superhero films go beyond mere thrills, delivering […]

“An inherent conflict of interests”: Governors’ commission members talk lobbyists, diversity in UNC System governance

By: - March 2, 2023

This week members of the Governor’s Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina continued their series of listening sessions, meeting to hear from the public in Asheville. At their Tuesday meeting, the second of six planned sessions, members took on questions of diversity on the board and the thorny issue of whether […]