UNCSA Lawsuit & Response

UNCSA Lawsuit & Response

In September 2021, seven former UNCSA students and alumni filed a lawsuit against UNCSA and seven former administrators and faculty members. The complaint, which was received by UNCSA on Monday, October 4, 2021, alleges sexual abuse of minor students by faculty members in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as concerns about how UNCSA responded to reports of abuse made at that time.

Some of the reports in the current lawsuit surfaced in 1995. In response, the UNC Board of Governors formed an independent commission of North Carolina citizens to review and respond to the concerns vocalized at the time about culture, climate and potential abuse. The commission took steps to investigate the allegations and create a report which found no widespread sexual misconduct at UNCSA. The report, which was delivered to the Board of Governors, resulted in policy changes across the UNC System. 

The UNCSA community cares deeply about the safety and welfare of our students and alumni. The words in this letter feel inadequate to express the extent of our distress. Simply stated, we are horrified by the allegations of sexual abuse and are appalled by the concept that sexual abuse could happen under the guise of artistic training. We recognize that the words here are only a start — it is our actions that will most clearly communicate the strength of our commitment.

READ FULL UNCSA STATEMENT

Key Information

  • In September 2021, seven UNCSA alumni who were students during the 1970s and 1980s filed a lawsuit against UNCSA, UNC, and seven former administrators and faculty members.
  • The complaint alleges sexual abuse of minor students by faculty members in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as concerns about how UNCSA responded to reports of abuse made at that time.
  • Some of the reports in the current lawsuit surfaced in 1995. In response, the UNC Board of Governors formed an independent commission of North Carolina citizens to investigate the allegation of widespread sexual misconduct at UNCSA. The commission took steps to investigate the allegations and create a report, which found no widespread sexual misconduct at UNCSA. 
  • In 1995 the UNC Board of Governors implemented a uniform faculty and student relationship policy across the UNC System. UNCSA later adopted a more restrictive version of the policy, which prohibits all faculty and student relationships unless they are married or their relationship predates their time at UNCSA. 
  • The UNCSA community cares deeply about the safety and welfare of our students and alumni. UNCSA has invested in and implemented an infrastructure to protect its community against abuse of any kind. Current safeguards against sexual misconduct at UNCSA can be found here.