Timeline: Accusations of sexual abuse at the UNC School of the Arts



Allegations of sexual assault at the UNC School of the Arts

Graduates say they were sexually abused while studying at the UNC School of the Arts. An investigation by Charlotte Observer and News & Observer found no evidence that the campus was aggressively investigating such statements when it had a chance.

A total of 58 former students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts sued in 2021, claiming they had been sexually abused at school. The charges span six decades and detail allegations of negligence in several conservatory high school and university programs. Here is the schedule:

1965: The North Carolina School of the Arts opened as the country’s first state conservatory, enrollment of both high school and college students.

1969: The 12-year-old enrolled in summer and high school ballet. Her account includes the earliest allegations in a lawsuit that 56 plaintiffs filed against the school in 2021. These claims include:

  • Teacher Gary Burke locked her in the classroom and raped her.

  • She witnessed dance instructor Duncan Noble harassing a young boy in a campus studio.

  • Dance teachers Richard Kuch and Richard Gain encouraged students to have sex and reportedly abused students; Gane groped her in class

1972: The school of arts became part of the village University of North Carolina system state campuses.

Richard Kuch, left, and Richard Gain, right, taken from a photograph of the dance faculty from the 1989 yearbook of the North Carolina School of the Arts.




1994: In an anonymous survey, two faculty members named employees who sexually abuse students as the school’s biggest concern, Pruitt told the Winston-Salem Journal in 1995. Jules Pandi, then a dance teacher, told Pruitt that extensive knowledge of the abuses of Kucha and Gaine Pandi later told Greensboro News and Record that it has complicated the recruitment of male dance students nationally.

July 1995: The student, who accused Kucha and Gaine of sexual abuse in 1984, sued UNCSA, accusing teachers and administrators of negligence for failing to prevent abuse.

August 1995: Kuch and Gain resigned from UNCSA, evading a scheduled hearing on campus. UNC Chairman of the Board Sam Neil has announced a commission to independently investigate allegations of sexual abuse at UNCSA.

November 1995: The commission has issued findings stating – incorrectly – that most of the very few alleged perpetrators have dropped out of school. In fact, people called the hotline for inquiries to accuse 24 staff and faculty of abuse or romantic relationships with students, according to an unpublished commission document received by News & Observer and Charlotte Observer. And 13 of them still worked at the school.

December 1995: The judge dismissed the lawsuit of the former dance student because the plaintiff was about twenty years old. The statute of limitations in the case of sexual abuse in the state at the time was the victim’s 21st birthday.

March 1996: The UNC system has adopted a new policy that prohibits romantic or sexual relationships between staff and any underage students, as well as any students they monitor or evaluate.

2005: A graduate of Blair Tyndall published memoirs describing sexual harassment and sexual relationships with professors while teaching music in the 1970s. Amazon has adapted the memoirs The 2014 series “Mozart in the Jungle.” UNCSA has never publicly responded to her allegations.

Chancellor of the School of the Arts of the University of North Carolina Brian Cole North Carolina University School of the Arts

August 2019: interim chancellor

October 2019: State lawmakers unanimously passed the Child Safety Act, which the statute of limitations has been suspended in child sexual abuse trials from January 2020 to December 2021.

October 2020: Shipps, a former UNCSA violin teacher, has been charged with two counts of sexually abusing children, alleging he sexually abused girls while working at the University of Michigan faculty. UNCSA has issued a statement saying it “has no record of such incidents while working at the school.”

February 2021: Two 2019 graduates sued UNCSA, alleging that teachers misread their complaints of sexual harassment against former opera director Nick Mooney.

September 2021: Seven alumni represented by attorney Gloria Allred have sued UNCSA, accusing him of failing to protect them from sexual assault when underage students danced in the 1980s. Teachers sexually harassed them in classand in some cases sexually assaulted in their homes, they claim. The campus issued a statement denying sexual assault and emphasizing changes in policy and personnel implemented since the 1980s.

November 2021: Another 32 plaintiffs join the lawsuit, with charges from the 1960s to the 2010s. UNCSA called the allegations “historic” and distributed a list of resources for students dealing with sexual violence and mental health issues.

Judge Martin McGee is hearing Christian Ferlan’s attorney, pictured left, at the Wake County Courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina, Thursday, October 21, 2021. McGee is a member of a three-judge panel that on Thursday heard arguments about the constitutionality of the suspension of statute of limitations on claims of sexual abuse of children. Ethan Hyman ehyman@newsobserver.com

December 2021:

more plaintiffs

October 2022: The lawsuit of two 2019 graduates is planned to be sent to court.

For more reports on this topic read The UNC School of the Arts welcomed the banned principal after students claimed sexual assault, the costume said

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Timeline: Accusations of sexual abuse at the UNC School of the Arts

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