Members of the UNC community are concerned that David Powers has decision-making power on the Board of Governors while simultaneously maintaining a profiting relationship with an industry and corporation that breeds human rights abuses for workers in its supply chain. David Powers’ role in ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council) demonstrates his commitment to representing the interests of the Tobacco industry and Reynolds American Inc. ALEC's interference in state government policies regarding environmental protections, the privatization of prisons and especially the privatization of education renders Powers unfit to represent the people of NC on the Board of Governors for the UNC System.
We reject the notion that Powers' role on the Board of Governors and as lobbyist for Reynolds are separate; a person cannot divorce their personal ethics and decision making in one job from that of another. Furthermore, he has refused to engage in conversation with students raising concerns about his role as a lobbyist for Reynolds. We believe that the members of the Board of Governors should be responsive to the concerns of students, or will otherwise be unable to adequately represent our interests. We therefore request that David Powers step down from his position on the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors.