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Former Clinton advisor will help UNC manage PR

Posted August 21, 2012

— A former advisor to President Bill Clinton has joined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's public relations effort as the university weathers an investigation into academic impropriety in at least one department.

Doug Sosnik began working as a consultant for the university earlier this month, a UNC spokeswoman said Tuesday. The addition comes about 13 months after UNC hired a Raleigh public relations firm to work on academic issues and two years after the NCAA began a probe into rules violations within the university's football program.

Sosnik served as political director during Clinton's second presidential term and is the co-author of "Applebee's America," a political strategy book about how leaders can connect with everyday Americans. Most recently, he has done consulting work for several Fortune 100 companies and the National Basketball Association.

Details on Sosnik's compensation have not been released. The school has paid nearly $600,000 on academic scandal-related services, but says none of that money came from taxpayers.

Former Clinton advisor will help UNC manage PR Former Clinton advisor will help UNC manage PR

Rick French, chairman and CEO of French West Vaughan, a public relations and advertising agency in Raleigh, said he is not surprised that the university is hiring outside help.

"I think UNC is struggling to get control of this situation," he said. 

Though his firm is not involved with UNC's public relations efforts, French said such firms and consultants can offer useful outside perspective.

"Sometimes, just like with a corporation, you can become a little insular and myopic in terms of the way you look at things," he said.

Last week, UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp announced that former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin would lead an investigation into multiple misdeeds in the African and Afro-American Studies Department and conduct a full review of other departments and all athletic programs at the university.

13 Comments

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  • quemaster Aug 22, 2:52 p.m.

    PR help? Don't cheat and don't have free grades and no classes like you are supposed to do and you'll have great PR! This "mess" is such an embarassment. We are being compared to Penn State because of this! What a shame. I'm embarassed. Class of '80.

  • cwood3 Aug 22, 9:59 a.m.

    Thorpe gone by Christmas- done deal-priceless!!

  • Pleasepostmycomments Aug 22, 9:51 a.m.

    It depends on what the definition of "is" is!

  • nomorethanthat Aug 22, 9:43 a.m.

    Where is the Ram's club offering to pay for these PR expenses? After all it was their scholarship funded athletes that brought about this debacle in association with a member or members of the UNC faculty.

  • cwood3 Aug 22, 9:13 a.m.

    This expendature of tax payer dollars is very questionable.

    You've made a mess-now come for WITH THE TRUTH, take your medicine, and move forward. This is a typical liberal response-gloss over their(not my-but their) mistakes and move on!!

  • WHEEL Aug 22, 8:50 a.m.

    If Sosnik can sell Clinton he can sell anything!

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Aug 22, 8:46 a.m.

    Good choice. If this guy could deal with all of the rif-raf surrounding one of America's worst Presidents, he can definitely handle this.

  • Riddickfield Aug 22, 8:17 a.m.

    I guess coming clean and fixing the problem would be too much to ask.

  • RomneyRyan2012 Aug 21, 7:51 p.m.

    His advice: "I did not cheat on that test. I just looked over and copied a few answers but not all of them...but I did not cheat."

  • turkeydance Aug 21, 7:36 p.m.

    Will Thorp still be the Chancellor by Dec.31?

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