Local News

Campus response to sex assault part of agenda for new UNC-CH chancellor

Posted July 25, 2013 5:22 p.m. EDT
Updated July 25, 2013 7:24 p.m. EDT

— Months after protests regarding how the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill handles sexual assaults on campus, administrators are still talking about it.

But this time, there’s a new leader at the table.

Carol Folt became the school’s newest chancellor early this month after spending three decades at Dartmouth College. In her first address Thursday to the Board of Trustees, Folt said she expects to have a list of policy recommendations soon from the sexual assault task force.

“This is not just a local issue. This is a national issue, and the more we can contribute to the way this is handled at all campuses, the better,” she said.

The task force was created in response to accusations that the university downplays reports of sexual assaults on campus – accusations now at the center of a federal investigation.

“I think that's going to be extremely interesting. It’s a great opportunity for us," Folt said.

Board member and student body president Christy Lambden is on the task force. He said the group, which meets again on Wednesday, is working to clearly define terms, such as “consent.”

“I think the biggest challenge that we face is also our biggest asset of the group,” he said. “It's an incredibly diverse array of opinions, and of course that means that sometimes you don't agree on everything.”

Lambden said the group hopes to have it recommendations to the chancellor by the end of the summer.

As Folt waits, she continues to read hundreds of emails she’s received from people.

She said many of those messages urge her to do one thing: “Restore confidence in our institution. Make sure that we can continue to be great, even in the face of budget cuts.”