Former UNC-CH faculty leader resigns in wake of academic fraud scandal
Posted March 5, 2015
Updated June 4, 2015
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Jan Boxill, a former chairwoman of the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has resigned from the school after being implicated in an academic fraud scandal, officials said Thursday.
Boxill, a philosophy professor, resigned Feb. 28, according to Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs Rick White.
UNC-Chapel Hill gave her a termination notice in October, but she had challenged it.
"Dr. Boxill has indicated her intent to seek retirement benefits based on her years of service as provided to state employees under North Carolina law," White said in a statement.
Former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein released a 131-page report on Oct. 22 that showed academic advisers steered student-athletes for 18 years toward classes that never met and required only a short paper to pass.
Wainstein's report found Boxill pushed student-athletes to the paper classes and in at least one case even suggested a certain grade for a member of the women's basketball team, for which she served as academic adviser.
UNC terminates Boxill
Three others fired
When the report was released, Chancellor Carol Folt called the no-show classes "an inexcusable betrayal," but she declined to respond to repeated inquiries about who was punished and how, saying it was a matter of "fairness and privacy."
Ten media organizations, including WRAL News parent Capitol Broadcasting Co., sued the university under North Carolina's public records law to identify those disciplined in the scandal. University officials argued that the disciplinary actions weren't final – and therefore weren't open to disclosure under the public records law – until the employees had grievance hearings and had exhausted any and all appeals, but they agreed to settle the case by releasing the names of those disciplined when their individual situations were finalized.
Boxill becomes the fourth person named in Wainstein's report who was either fired or resigned:
- Timothy McMillan, a senior lecturer in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, resigned Dec. 31.
- Jamie Lee, an academic counselor to football players, didn't contest her termination notice, which became effective Nov. 21.
- Beth Bridger was terminated from her job at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington on Oct. 23 because of her role in the no-show classes while working as the associate director of academic support at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Six other UNC-Chapel Hill employees may face some disciplinary action, officials have said. Each is going through an individual review process led by Provost James Dean and Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington, and officials said they would release the names of anyone disciplined when such action is taken.