Accreditation, lawsuits focus of UNC-CH faculty meeting

Posted January 23, 2015

— Chancellor Carol Folt briefed a sometimes critical Faculty Council on Friday about various issues facing the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the wake of its academic fraud scandal.

On Thursday, some former student-athletes filed a class-action lawsuit against the university and the NCAA, alleging that they were deprived a proper education and demanding reforms to ensure the same doesn't happen to other student-athletes.

Last week, UNC-Chapel Hill officials submitted a 224-page report to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to document changes implemented in recent years to ensure compliance with various accreditation standards, such as control of college athletics and academic support services.

"It is true that every university has a constant flow of legal actions," Folt told the faculty. "But we are at a new level, at another level, an unusual level, maybe the greatest level."

Some faculty members said that some of the legal pressure on the university could have been avoided.

"The increasing amount of money we are paying for legal defense, some of that could be avoided if we were just more forthcoming with information," said Altha Cravey, an associate professor of geography.

Cravey cited the university's decision to withhold the names of faculty and staff who were punished following the release of an independent report into the scandal.

The faculty also questioned the forced resignation of UNC President Tom Ross, who the Board of Governors said last Friday would leave next January as the leader of the 17-campus system. One professor compared his removal to someone being dragged off stage and called it inappropriate.


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  • Objective Scientist Jan 25, 2015

    View quoted thread

    Your inclusion of the BOT, BOG, and Rams Club... "spot on"!!! You'd expect some lofty "athletic ambitions" from the Rams Club, but it is particularly disappointing the degree to which "athletic ambitions AND politics" are evident in the BOT and BOG! Just how "DUMB" to the BOG folks think we are - Carolina grads and others??? Praise Tom Ross to the "high heavens" in every possible way? In response to questions... no problem - NONE - in ANY area of his job... in fact just the opposite... Ross has done a GREAT job! OK... then why "terminate" him? No reason given!!! Last question... in light of "no other reason"... was/is "politics" a reason? Answer "NO! Absolutely NOT! Just how disengenuous can a BOG be? That is incredible!!! Anyone "dumb enough, ignorant enough" to believe that politics are not THE reason Ross is being "forced out"... I have some of that proverbial swamp land I want to sell you!

  • dws Jan 25, 2015

    I agree, Objective Scientist, and I dare say that the the BOT, BOG and Rams Club likely share a degree of culpability along with high level administration.

    The runaway train of deception has left the tracks and is in a slow, painful free fall.

  • Objective Scientist Jan 25, 2015

    Continuation of last comment: I don't know the percentage... but I'd bet a sizable sum that if anonymity could be insured a large percentage of faculty would express displeasure at how the "administration" has handled recent issues!!! Anonymity is "key"! For all the rhetoric by the University of how much "open and free dialogue" is valued... of how that is the very essence of a university and higher education... a "mere" faculty member better not "cross swords" with a higher administrator. If done... potential negative impact to one's career advancement and salary is substantial! THAT environment is likely a significant component in the "academic fraud" and resulting accreditation issues the University now faces. IMO - University administrators - and in fairness many faculty - truly "over-think" EVERYTHING! With every discussion it seems there is a "contest" to determine who can win the "Blue Ribbon" for being "overly, extremely analytical". Such discussion only complicates!!!

  • Objective Scientist Jan 25, 2015

    I am proud to possess 3 EARNED degrees from UNC-CH! At the time those degrees were awarded to me - I'm also proud that Bill Friday's signature is on all 3 diplomas - there were NO "paper only" classes, and no professors were taking on incredibly high numbers of "independent studies". I have a LOT of experience with UNC-CH. From that I believe there is a significant amount of "disconnect" between UNC administrators and faculty... I speak of "higher level" administrators above the level of Dept Chairs. There are a LOT in that category. Look at a UNC "catalog" from 3 -4 - 5 decades ago, look at the most current catalog... and simply count! There is now an "insulating" layer of "Senior Assoc. Deans" between departments and full Deans. The number of "Vice-Chancellors" and beneath them "Assist. and Assoc. Vice-Chancellors" has EXPLODED! Do we have a Vice-Chancellor whose responsibility is to choose toilet tissue for the campus? Excuse my hyperbole! Continued....

  • donnieshelton Jan 25, 2015

    All of this fraud occurred within one field of study, every single issue involved African American studies. Hundreds of years of academic integruty washed away all from the folks running the African American studies programs.

  • raphael27520 Jan 24, 2015

    View quoted thread

    Correct. MOST hiring managers will not hire graduates from a "University" that has questionable academic issues as well as ethical problems.

    Just like I will never hire a NCCU graduate after NCCU awarded a degree to convicted murderer Crystal Mangum, the Duke LaCrosse 'Exotic Dancer" who falsely accused several players of rape.

  • Kevin O'Donnell Jan 24, 2015
    user avatar

    Surry Hills is right. I would not hire anyone with a UNC degree. What the administrators have done is destroy the academic reputation of, what was, a highly respected school. Now UNC is considered an academic punchline. Sadly, Ms. Folt does not understand the seriousness of the situation. Athletics still rule over academics at UNC

  • tran Jan 24, 2015

    The quoted geology professor is correct. UNC could have avoided all this if they had been more forthcoming. But they weren't and so it has come to this.

    If the taxpayers get saddled with UNCs legal bills, that would be a true injustice.

    UNC needs to come clean and take their lumps. They must admit everything they did in detail and the ill-gotten gains must be forfeited.

  • Harvo Jan 24, 2015

    This is SOOOOO corrupt...
    This is sooo Sooooo SOOOO corrupt.

  • Dona Hill Jan 24, 2015
    user avatar

    I did some research about this but I am not positive that i understand all of the aspects of how the money is filtered down from our legislature to the Board of Governors to the universities in our state system. It appears though that The UNC Board of Governors should step to the plate and let UNC Chapel Hill find the money to pay for all of these legal bills. Why should the taxpayers of North Carolina have to pay for decisions that were made that caused these deceitful educational problems? Maybe some of that athletic money since this was done for the athletics program should anti up.