UNC Gets $3 Million To Help Students Graduate

A $3 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education will go to help first-generation students at UNC make it all the way to graduation.

Abigail Panter is a psychology professor and the senior associate dean for undergraduate education at UNC. Over the next four years she will develop a program to help improve undergraduate retention as part of a national push to increase the number of college graduates.

Called The Finish Line Project, the program will be aimed at the nearly 20 percent of UNC undergraduates who are the first in their families to attend college. Many come from rural areas or traditionally underserved populations. These students are about twice as likely to drop out of college after the first year.

The program will include intensive academic counseling and targeted transition courses to help new students adjust to the rigors of college. It will also examine curriculum design for STEM classes at the community college and university levels.

The grant is one of 24 awarded by the Department of Education to fund the First in the World initiative to improve access to higher education and raise college graduation rates across the country.


Landen Gambill Adds To Complaints Filed With DoE-OCR Against UNC

CHAPEL HILL – The UNC student who has been at the forefront of rallies on campussupporting sexual assault victims and a change in how the University handles the cases has filed a federal complaint against the University.

According to multiple sources, Landen Gambill’s lawyer Henry Clay Turner told UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp in a letter that Gambill has filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The letter asks that the Honor Court charges against Gambill be dropped.

This is the third complaint filed with the OCR; it’s also investigating UNC for the handling of sexual assault cases after Gambill and several other women including former assistant dean for students Melinda Manning, and for possible Clery Act violations. The Clery Act is a federal law that requires campuses to disclose crime statistics.

The Honor Court charges Gambill’s lawyer has asked to be dropped were made by her ex-boyfriend whom she has not publicly named but accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting her. The ex-boyfriend filed the charges stating she engaged in disruptive or intimidating behavior against him. In the letter, Turner said Chancellor Thorp has the right and the responsibility to step in and dismiss the charges even though they are often handled by students and faculty.

Turner also stated that Gambill will not be participating in the Honor Court hearings because “the retaliatory charges against my client are inappropriate, unconstitutional, and utterly without merit.”

Gambill could face any range of punishment up to and including expulsion as the charges do not carry a specific penalty.