Raleigh, N.C. — A day after the independent investigation by former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin into the academic scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was released, a couple of high-ranking political figures are weighing in with their opinions.
Republican Senate President Pro Temp Phil Berger released a statement Friday that suggests that while the former governor’s report uncovered previously unseen misdeeds, it may also leave more questions behind.
“Gov. Martin’s report raises a number of unanswered questions and reveals a significant and long-standing failure at UNC-Chapel Hill to protect its integrity and academic reputation,” the statement reads. “The people of North Carolina have a long history and proud tradition of support for our public university system. However, erosion of high quality standards and lapses in oversight will, over time, result in an attrition of public support. The North Carolina Senate will exercise its appropriate oversight responsibilities in light of these events and this report.”
Also on Friday, Governor-elect Pat McCrory took to Twitter to express his concerns for the report’s findings and sees the issues raised as an accountability problem.
“Just reviewed Martin report & results are troubling. It’s not just academic fraud but fraud against the public. It can’t be tolerated,” McCrory tweeted. “We must ensure future admins & their boards are held accountable & students are getting a sound education while protecting NC tax.”
Martin’s report, released Thursday in front of the UNC Board of Trustees, detailed an isolated reoccurrence of academic fraud within the African and Afro-American Studies Department dating back to the mid-1990s. The findings are adamant that the issue was confined to former department chair Julius Nyang’Oro and his assistant, Deborah Crowder.
While the academic improprieties were discovered during an NCAA investigation into the Tar Heels’ football program, Martin’s 74-page report suggests that the issue is academic in nature and student-athletes were not singled out to receive extra assistance with grades or assignments.