Accrediting group to UNC: Show us reforms are working to prevent academic fraud

Posted July 13, 2015

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— The organization that accredits the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has given the school a year to prove that its efforts to prevent academic fraud work.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools last month placed UNC-Chapel Hill on probation for 12 months for violating seven principles of accreditation:
integrity, program content, control of intercollegiate athletics, academic support services, academic freedom, faculty role in governance and Title IV program responsibilities.

The move was based on a review of the findings of independent investigator Kenneth Wainstein, who released a report in October that showed academic advisers at UNC-Chapel Hill steered student-athletes for 18 years toward classes that never met and required only a short paper to pass.

Even before the Wainstein report was issued, the university had started working on changes to its policies and procedures so academic fraud wouldn't recur.

In a July 1 letter to Chancellor Carol Folt, SACS officials said that, while they appreciate the effort, UNC-CHapel Hill has provided no evidence that the changes have had any effect.

University officials must, before next April, submit a report to SACS detailing how they are meeting the seven principles the school had violated and the role of the various changes in meeting those goals. A SACS committee will then visit Chapel Hill for an on-site review.

If the school is still found deficient in any areas, SACS could extend the probation for up to another 12 months. UNC-Chapel Hill risks losing its accreditation after that, as federal law prohibits a university from being on probation for more than two years for failure to meet accreditation standards.

Accreditation affects how much in loans and financial aid the federal government will provide to a school.


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