The inept handling of two cases by the office of UNC General

Counsel Leslie Stohm has brought the University a great deal of

notoriety and has cost the University many hundreds of thousands

of dollars at a time when dollars are in short supply.  According

to a statement by Hugh Stevens, nationally known First Amendment

and media lawyer, the University may have to pay hundreds of

thousands of dollars more in legal expenses for the newpaper

attorneys in the public information lawsuit below. 


The Yankaskas Fiasco


In this case a highly regarded UNC cancer researcher, settled her dispute with

the University today, agreeing to dismiss her appeal, provide the

University with a full release of all claims - and leave the

University no later than Dec. 31.  Yankaskas received a pay cut

and demotion for her role in a 2007 hack that exposed the names,

addresses and birth dates of women whose data were collected as

part of the Carolina Mammography Registry.  The University also

agreed to pay Yankaskas $175,000 toward her legal fees, reinstate

her as a full professor and rescind a 48 percent salary cut that

reduced her annual pay from $178,000 to $93,000.



The Football Fiasco


According to the UNC News Bureau


   "UNC-Chapel Hill has received more than 80 public records

   requests related to the football investigation. One public

   records officer has spent more than 600 hours on public

   records requests on this issue over the past three-and-a-half

   months. The University has provided thousands of pages of

   documents in response to the requests.  Chancellor Thorp

   authorized hiring additional staff to help meet the demand for

   reviewing and responding to football-related public records



The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News & Observer and other

media organizations sued top UNC Chapel Hill officials Thursday

in an attempt to get records related to the two-pronged NCAA

investigation of the football program.  ... national media

associations have written letters to Congress and adopted

resolutions citing concerns over the use of the student privacy

law to withhold public documents.



Based on the advice of Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Leslie

Strohm,  Chancellor Holden Thorp said "The University is 100

percent committed to complying with our obligations under public

records laws. ... but we can't ignore federal and state law". 

Strohm said


   "The University is entrusted with lots of confidential

   information about our students. They and their families expect

   us to hold that information in confidence because it's

   required by federal law and because it's the right thing to

   do. A football player has the same basic privacy rights as any

   student on campus."


Evidently she was mistaken since Superior Court Judge Howard

Manning ordered the records to be turned over in May and the

State Court of Appeals quickly denied a temporary hold on the

records which revealed that a group of Tar Heel players

accumulated more than $13,000 in 395 parking citations over a 3

1/2 year period as well as 110 questionable calls by a UNC

football recruiter to a sports agent.


Public records lawsuit


Harsh spotlight - N&O Editorial


Honor and Privilege N&O Editorial


Tudor: UNC's Butch Davis must go  September 30, 2010


Butch Davis got hugged. Bonnie Yankaskas got slugged February 20, 2011


More on the football scandal


A third UNC Fiasco - AHEC, Carolina North, and Horace Williams airport  Why must AHEC doctors drive to RDU?

Horace Williams Airport is still operating as of July 2012 and will continue to operate for the foreseeable future


UNC abandons distinguished UNC professor Paul Frampton


Help Paul Frampton


Still another scandel: Top UNC fundraiser resigns amid questions


These prominent cases at UNC-Chapel Hill raise difficult issues about what happens to the leader when things go wrong.  Leslie Strohm and the University administration have similarly blundered in the Villarosa affair.


How many chances should Thorp get?


Thorp: My resignation right for UNC-Chapel Hill


Strohm costs UNC $45,000 in legal fees


Last updated October 26, 2012