Board of Governors launches investigation into academic fraud at UNC
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
CHAPEL HILL — A five member panel from the UNC Board of Governors launched its investigation in the academic fraud that occurred within over 50 courses in UNC's department of African and afro American Studies that stem back to at least 2007.
The Board of Governors wants to determine whether the university's investigation was thorough enough or if additional steps should be taken to prevent a similar situation from occurring. On Friday, the panel heard from Chancellor Holden Thorp and other UNC faculty members who conducted the investigation.
"As chancellor, I take responsibility for it," Thorp told the panel. "We have asked hard questions and we have found answers that are humiliating and painful."
The NCAA's investigation into the football program tipped off UNC to the head of the department of African and Afro American Studies Julius Nyango'oro, who signed off on a football player's plagiarized paper.
Thorp said further investigation revealed highly unethical and unprofessional activity, including unauthorized grade changes for students and no show professors in more than 50 classes between the summer of 2007 and 2011. Students also received credit for taking courses with no instructor in the class or grading work.
Thorp admits many athletes were in the courses in question, but said there is no evidence that athletes were treated any differently than other students.
"None of these students in theses classes got the educational experience that we expect all Carolina students to get and that is absolutely not okay," said Thorp.
Thorp's investigative team told the five-member panel new practices are now in place. Now the dean's office must review and approve grade changes. There is also an academic support program for student athletes and UNC's updating and improving its electronic grading system this year.
"You can look at grade distributions in different departments by different professors," said Board of Governors panel chair Louis Bissette.
The panel says the findings and changes at chapel hill will help improve colleges across the UNC System. Once its investigations completed, the panel will make recommendations if they feel further action needs to be taken.
The panel plans to continue its investigation next month.
The SBI is conducting its own separate investigation to determine if any criminal activity occurred related to Nyango'oro getting paid thousands of dollars to teach a course, that he conducted as an independent study which involves little classroom time and instruction.