UNC doesn’t release the names of students found guilty of sexual assault or the sanctions they face — even though those records are unprotected by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act — because it believes it has no legal obligation to do so.
But in the annual security reports UNC filed from 2000 to 2011 under the federal Clery Act, UNC said it would publish the names of students found guilty of sexual assault.
“If the accused is found guilty, the Office of the Dean of Students, on request, will make public the name of the accused, the violation committed and the sanction imposed,” reports read until that language disappeared in 2012.
Dean of Students Jonathan Sauls, who has worked in the department since 2005, was unaware of that clause.
He thinks that language inaccurately represented UNC policies.
“It has never been the policy or practice of the Office of the Dean of Students, or any other University department to my knowledge, to release the names of individuals convicted of sexual assault pursuant to a public records request.”
Melinda Manning, who was an assistant dean of students from 2001 to 2012, said otherwise.
“I knew that our documents said we would publish the names of students found guilty of crimes of violence — as allowed by FERPA,” she said in an email, but she said she didn’t know if the office ever got such a request then.