Now it's taking a more positive approach, with its first Spirit of Inquiry Contest, according to a news release. The goal is to find the best undergraduate courses "that allow students freedom to explore ideas within the context of a serious academic discipline," the release said.
The faculty member who teaches the winning course will receive an award of $1,000 for education and research-related expenses, Jane Stancill reports. Second and third finalists will receive awards of $750 and $500.
That could provoke a ruckus among professors who have fought against proposed donations to UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State from the John William Pope Foundation, which tends to fund conservative causes.
Students are encouraged to nominate courses in the Pope Center's new contest. If a student nominates the winning course, he or she will receive $250 worth of textbooks. Courses taught at all public, private and community colleges in North Carolina are eligible.