RALEIGH, N.C. — A center founded at the University of North Carolina by a civil rights attorney to help the poor and disenfranchised is the latest institution to come under fire from conservatives as they work to leave their mark on the state’s higher education system. African-American attorney Julius Chambers, who endured firebomb attacks in the 1960s and 1970s as he fought segregation, founded the UNC Center for Civil Rights in 2001, serving as its first director. Now conservatives on the state Board of Governors, which sets policy for the 16-campus system, want to strip the center of its ability to file lawsuits, removing its biggest weapon.Proponents say the move isn’t ideological, but that the center’s courtroom work strays from the education mission of the country’s oldest public university. Critics say one of the South’s leading civil rights institutions would be defanged. The proposal is “strictly, certainly and undoubtedly ideological,” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law professor Gene Nichol wrote via email.Nichol was dean of the law school, where the center is housed, when it was founded. He said in the email that he encouraged Chambers to found it at UNC.Nichol also headed UNC’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, which the board closed two years ago by saying it didn’t serve its academic mission. It was one of about 25 UNC-affiliated centers shuttered after a review of the 240 centers in the campus system.