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Press Release

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The UNC System, UNCSA and attorneys for the claimants today announced a settlement agreement that will resolve claims and end litigation brought by 65 alumni in late 2021 alleging sexual misconduct and abuse at UNCSA primarily during the 1970s-1990s. The survivors’ claims will be resolved by the payment of $12.5 million over four years, split between the UNC System ($10 million) and UNCSA ($2.5 million).

Lisa Lanier, Lanier Law Group, attorney for the claimants, stated:

“This resolution marks the end of a decades-long journey for these former UNCSA students. It takes tremendous courage to pursue claims borne of past trauma and it has been our privilege to represent them in this process to bring institutional accountability for the inexcusable conduct to which they were subjected. The university worked diligently with us to reach this settlement, acknowledging that it was time to make amends for the past.”

UNCSA Chancellor Brian Cole stated:

“Though this resolution cannot heal the wounds of the past, it is my deep hope that through it, the survivors who came forward feel our commitment to listening, acknowledging and doing right by them. This has without a doubt been a dark time for UNCSA as we came to terms with accounts of sexual abuse, and we honor the courage it took for these alumni to share their experiences. It has always been our intent to do what we can to reconcile with the past in a manner consistent with our values, and with compassion and empathy for survivors. I am personally devastated that anyone on this campus would have experienced abuse, and commit to doing all that we can to continually bolster an environment of safety and trust at UNCSA.”

UNC System President Peter Hans stated:

“Protecting the safety and wellbeing of our students is the university’s first responsibility. Any violation of that trust is painful, and even more so when victims must wait decades for recognition and a measure of justice. I admire the courage and determination of survivors in seeking to right past wrongs, and I am grateful to Chancellor Cole and his team for confronting this difficult chapter with compassion and integrity. The UNC School of the Arts is a wonderful institution that does enormous good for our state, and the commitment to acknowledge and make amends for past failings is exactly what we should want from our public institutions.”