Sexual Assault Expert Addresses UNC Trustees

Mar 28, 2013

Gina Smith addresses the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees.
Credit Dave DeWitt

The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees heard from a consultant hired to analyze the school’s policies toward sexual assault.

Gina Smith is a former prosecutor who has made a second career out of helping various institutions take a closer look policies and procedures following sexual assault scandals. In the past, she’s worked with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Amherst College.

“This is an issue that doesn’t only plague UNC Chapel Hill,” Smith told the Board of Trustees. “This is an issue that plagues every university in the country. And more broadly this is an issue that plagues society.”

Smith was brought in after five women – three students, one former student, and a former assistant dean of students - filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. That complaint charged that individual cases were mishandled. A separate complaint charged that the University violated the Clery Act by under-reporting the number of sexual assault claims.

Smith has not yet offered any specific policy suggestions.