Lucy Russell, former president of the IoP’s student advisory board, resigned from her role in late November just weeks after presiding over the unanimous, 10-person vote to terminate Glenn.
“There was pushback from within the University and from external stakeholders to force his continued involvement with the IoP, and the unanimous decision of the Student Leadership Team was not respected,” Russell said in a statement to The Daily Tar Heel. “Instead, certain stakeholders insisted upon a structural reorganization to keep the Executive Director involved, despite allegations of serious misconduct and patterns of behavior that created an uncomfortable environment for the hundreds of students who engage with the IoP.”
IoP faculty adviser Sarah Treul, a professor of political science, emphasized that “the organization is certainly going through some growing pains and trying to figure out what the right organizational structure is moving forward.”
Perry — who is an IoP senior advisory board member — said almost all of the information that he’s gotten about the allegations has come from Glenn. From what he’s heard, Perry said, the allegations were “a long way from” sexual misconduct and “much ado about nothing.”
“My understanding is that there is no followup on that, and that that issue has been dropped and dismissed without any kind of real investigation other than a cursory one,” Perry said.
UNC’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office had decided by Dec. 4 not to proceed with further investigations into the incidents, according to emails sent to the women who filed against Glenn from the EOC office.
“At this point, I am doing my best to support the organization in my capacity as a Chancellor’s Fellow by sharing the experience and relationships I built over my years working to establish the IoP on campus,” Glenn said in a statement to the DTH.
A new institute
Along with the student leadership team, the IoP is comprised of an internal advisory board of UNC professors and a senior advisory board, of which Perry is a member. The senior advisory board includes other prominent people connected to the University, including UNC-system Board of Governors member Lou Bissette, BOT members Julia Grumbles and Bill Keyes and former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot.
The IoP, which raised $222,500 in private donations during its inaugural year, will offer 19 internships to UNC undergraduates during the summer of 2019. Among various programs, the organization will host former Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre on campus throughout the spring semester through its Fellows Program.
In a May 2017 proposal letter draft, Glenn — who named himself executive director of the IoP after founding it as an undergraduate in April 2017 — outlined a plan for the student organization to become a new institute at the University, housed within the College of Arts and Sciences with “the ultimate goal of building a sustainable, multimillion-dollar endowment.”
Glenn stated in the draft that the IoP had secured a $30,000 commitment over two years from the College of Arts and Sciences in addition to its expected private donations. He added that Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, had committed to providing space, facilities and equipment within the college to serve the IoP’s needs.
Perry said he met Glenn around the IoP’s start and introduced him to a lot of people around the state. He called Glenn “a young man of extraordinary depth, intelligence, who has come up with an extraordinary idea, who has worked his tail off to build an organization.”
‘Scared and violated’
Russell presided over the student leadership team’s vote to terminate Glenn on Oct. 30 after learning of the incident reports filed against Glenn and meeting with one of the women who had filed a report.
A UNC senior, whose name has been changed to preserve anonymity, submitted an incident report to the EOC office on Oct. 19 that alleged sexual misconduct during a late 2017 encounter with Glenn, who was a senior at the time.
In her official EOC report, Amanda stated that one night around 10 p.m. during a gathering at her house, Glenn approached her and would not stop touching her “in a provocative way.” He had done this before, she stated, and she’d never known how to say “stop,” but this was the first time it had escalated.
Glenn would not let go of Amanda and kept trying to kiss her, according to her report.
“I repeatedly said ‘no’ firmly and tried to back away,” Amanda stated in the report. “He kept trying to grab me, at which point I had to physically push him away with force.”
The only way to get him to leave was to tell Glenn’s friend they both had to leave immediately, according to the report. Amanda told the DTH that after that night, Glenn knows he is banned from her house, and she avoids any interactions with him.
Another UNC senior, whose name has also been changed to preserve anonymity, reported an incident of sexual misconduct involving Glenn on Oct. 29. Her alleged encounter with Glenn occurred later the same night as Amanda’s, at a separate house party for the eve of her 21st birthday.
Bethany knew she would be going to drink at bars with friends later in the night, so she said in her report she had consumed less than two beers and water at the time of the incident. Bethany described Glenn as more of an acquaintance than a friend.
He was part of one of the first groups to arrive at the party, though Bethany said she didn’t invite him. She described Glenn as “very inebriated” in her testimony to the EOC Office.
He approached her in a room among other people and started embracing her, she stated in the report, sliding his hand to her waist, rubbing his fingers on the sliver of her exposed skin and whispering in her ear “something along the lines of, ‘I'm so glad to be sharing this with you, you look amazing.’”
Bethany said that traumatic sexual abuse she experienced before college still affects her, and the situation that night caused her to freeze up.
“He is physically larger and stronger than me, and though I was trying to physically resist, with a tense body, I could not easily break free,” Bethany stated in her report.
She “felt scared and violated,” according to the report. She said she eventually saw someone she knew and grabbed them, pulling away from Glenn and avoiding him for the rest of the night.
Glenn was not informed of the accusers’ identities when the EOC Office met with him some time before Dec. 4, according to emails sent to both women by EOC response coordinator Rebecca Gibson.
“I was surprised when I first heard a claim had been made, but the (EOC Office) conveyed to me in unequivocal terms that I had in no way violated University policy,” Glenn stated.
Glenn did not directly respond to questions from the DTH about the nature of the allegations or developments following his attempted termination.
Russell said in a statement that she and other IoP student leaders “acted swiftly” upon learning of the allegations, consulting with the University’s Ombuds Office and Carolina Student Legal Services to assess if the student leadership team could legally terminate Glenn based on the IoP’s bylaws.
A letter sent to Glenn on Nov. 1 about the unanimous vote did not explain why the student leadership team had voted to terminate him, calling it “a final decision and not open to negotiation.”
‘Conversations of trust’
IoP Director of Development and University Relations Lawton Ives — a UNC sophomore who participated in the unanimous vote to terminate Glenn — took notes documenting various meetings with IoP stakeholders in late December.
At a Dec. 17 meeting in South building, Glenn expressed interest in the organization’s bylaws and his involvement was discussed, according to Ives’ notes.
At a Dec. 27 lunch between Ives and Perry, Perry said Guskiewicz told him the allegations against Glenn had been dismissed, Ives’ notes stated. Perry also made plans to “talk with Tanner about his alcohol use,” according to Ives’ notes.
When the DTH asked if a meeting about Glenn’s alcohol use had happened, Perry responded that he does not think Glenn has an alcohol problem.
“You know, my conversations with Tanner are just like my conversations were supposed to be with Lawton, and that is that they were conversations of trust, and if we’d wanted other people to be a part of them or know what we were talking about, we would have invited other people,” Perry said.
Perry wanted Glenn to continue conceiving ideas and fundraising for the IoP while professional management was brought in, according to Ives’ notes. He also suggested to Ives that Glenn could eventually become a member of the IoP’s senior advisory board, the notes stated.
During a Dec. 20 phone call that included Guskiewicz, Treul and Ives, Guskiewicz requested a document from the student leadership board outlining all existing issues with Glenn, according to Ives’ notes. The Dean and Treul decided to avoid passing out that document “so people could not have some sort of coordinated attack.”
After the phone call, the notes stated that the Dean asked the student leadership board to create a plan for staff by mid-February. Guskiewicz also planned to meet with Glenn that day to “talk about the need to think about his next career move and express disappointment that Tanner did not take responsibility for his mistakes.”
Guskiewicz did not respond to a voicemail or emails from the DTH with questions about the IoP’s funding, allegations against Glenn or the student leadership team’s termination vote.
Glenn said in his statement that while he plans to move on from the IoP when his fellowship concludes at the end of the academic year, he will remain committed to the organization and hopes to support it “in an advisory capacity, as needed.”
But his continued involvement was the reason that Russell, according to her statement, resigned in the middle of her term.
“I resigned as president because I felt it was a moral imperative to no longer be involved with the organization or be complicit in this lack of accountability,” Russell stated.