DURHAM — Tech industry giant Intel has announced it will donate $5 million over the next five years to North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically black college and university (HBCU), to create a new tech law and policy center. Intel’s executive vice president and general counsel, Steven R. Rodgers, will join the law school’s board of visitors to help direct additional resources and support for the law school. Additionally, Allon Stabinsky, Intel’s senior vice president and chief deputy general counsel, and Rhonda Foxx, Intel’s leader of social equity policies and engagements, will join the center’s advisory board to help shape its certificate program, curriculum development and drive further Intel engagements.
“As a company and industry, we need to do better to ensure legal and policy jobs are available to all communities because talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. At the beginning of this year, we began to hold our legal counsel accountable to the “Intel Rule,” which states we will not retain or use outside law firms in the U.S. that are average or below average on diversity,” said Steven R. Rodgers, Intel general counsel. “And now, through this partnership we will hold ourselves accountable for extending the talent pipeline. Our investment in NCCU is only the beginning, and we will continue our efforts to provide more equitable access to tech, legal and policy careers.”
According to a press statement, Intel will contribute legal and strategic expertise, faculty training, summer internships and Intel mentors for both students and faculty members. Students will engage directly with Intel executives who will serve as guest lecturers and provide practical legal experiences, networking and mentorship. Intel’s goal is to prepare the next generation of corporate attorneys, giving them exposure to corporate law “on day one of their law school journey.” Two first-year law students from NCCU will also participate in a summer associate program with Intel.
“North Carolina Central University’s School of Law has been a leader in equity and diversity within the legal education community for several decades. We extend our sincere thanks to Intel Corporation for establishing a novel partnership with the university through the creation of the NCCU Tech Law and Policy Center. This partnership makes NCCU the only HBCU and only law school in the country with a Tech Law Center that focuses on technology disparities and social justice,” said Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., chancellor of North Carolina Central University. “Over the next five years, Intel Corporation’s gift of $5 million will provide students, as well as faculty and staff in the School of Law with innovative opportunities in the classroom and direct connections with executives at the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturer. Most importantly, this collaboration will assist in solving issues of access and producing diverse legal professionals who are equipped to succeed locally, as well as globally.”
Historically, HBCUs have trailed other institutions in federal funding and corporate engagement. There are over 100 HBCUs across the nation, and NCCU is one of only six with a law school.