The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday January 22nd

Carolina Women’s Center asked to go under self-review

In the fall, the center held open forums for the four candidates for the director position that opened after Christi Hurt began working in the office of the Dean of Student Affairs. A new director was never named because of the Board of Governors review of centers that left the existence of the center in limbo.

“The search has not ended — I would say the best word is paused — because what the Board of Governors has asked us to do is do a complete review of the center,” said Hurt, who still serves as the director of the Women’s Center.

Hurt said the goal is to review the center’s programs, services, goals and mission. She expects the process to clarify the future of the center.

“It’s not that the center is being restarted from scratch. This is a process that identifies what trends are moving forward with the center, what programs are currently meeting those needs and continuing to emphasize those,” she said.

The Women’s Center review has a shortened timeframe for the review process because of a special request made by the Board of Governors.

The board specifically requested the review to focus on the center’s counseling and other resources surrounding sexual assault, keeping pace with the national movement to address sexual assault on college campuses.

“The Board of Governors wants to make sure that we are doing enough in that regard to evaluate whether we needed additional resources,” said Carol Tresolini, vice provost for academic initiatives.

The review team will send its report to the Centers and Institutes Review Committee, which reviews reports and then makes recommendations to the provost.

Tresolini and Hurt expect to have decided on a team within the next two weeks. In the past, it has taken around six weeks to conduct a full, investigative review, Tresolini said.

“The biggest hurdle usually is trying to find a mutual time for everybody to meet,” Tresolini said.

Tresolini expects the team to be four people, including the director of another university’s Women’s Center.

Not all of the members of the review team have been selected, but Tresolini confirmed that Lynn Blanchard, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service, will act as chairwoman.

Blanchard sees this review as an opportunity to evaluate the center through a fresh perspective.

“I think often when you are working day to day, you don’t have time to step back at the overall picture. And so having these reviews really offers an opportunity to take account and say where do we want to be, where do we want to go and how will we get there.” she said.

Hurt and Tresolini have positive feelings about what the review means for the Women’s Center.

Although the search for a new director is important, Tresolini appreciates the board’s urgency for the review.

“I think it’s an indication of their desire to make sure that we have the resources that we need on this campus to address issues of sexual assault, and for that I commend them.”

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