“It’s pretty clear now that the general counsel was a part of the cover-up (of the athletic scandal),” Willingham said, saying Strohm’s office first investigated UNC’s athletic-academic scandal, but did not unearth the biggest pieces of information that were brought forward in the Wainstein report.
“I voiced my concern (in 2013) that we still weren’t getting to the truth with our academics and athletics. They should have uncovered the truth. The truth is in the transcripts — it’s that simple.”
Andrea Pino, who filed a federal complaint against the University for its handling of her sexual assault case with four others in 2013, said Strohm’s office initially resisted changing the University’s sexual assault policy.
“We knew that when it would get to Leslie’s office it wouldn’t move from there,” Pino said. “Until the complaint was filed, there was never any talk of policy changes — it was set in stone.”
Pino said Strohm’s office viewed her complaint as an attack on the University, not a way to better the campus.
“It did become an ‘us versus them’ scenario,” she said.
In a campuswide email from Chancellor Carol Folt, Strohm is leaving for a chance to grow in new areas of higher education administration at a university close to where she calls home.
“I will announce plans soon for interim leadership of that office and launch a national search,” Folt said in the email.
Strohm said her office advises clients on more than 300 matters each week.
“I have been working more than 30 years, and this is the finest team of legal professionals — and people — I have ever known,” Strohm said. “I am immensely proud of the Office of University Counsel and all the work that we do.”