UNC anticipates update on accreditation status

Posted November 13, 2014

Former UNC-Chapel Hill professor Julius Nyang'oro, center, surrenders to Orange County authorities on Dec. 3, 2013, after his indictment on a charge of obtaining property by false pretense. Nyang'oro is accused of taking money for a class that he never taught. He is accompanied by his wife and attorney Butch Williams.

— The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which handles accreditation for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has completed its review of the revelations of the Wainstein report and sent a letter to the school Thursday. SACS declined to comment about the contents of the letter.

The university should get the letter Friday or Monday, said Belle Wheelan, SACS president.

The 131-page Wainstein report found about 1,500 athletes and slightly more regular students benefited over about 18 years from sham classes and artificially high grades in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies Department.

In a presentation to UNC leadership on Oct. 22, former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein detailed how academic counselors steered student-athletes to classes in the former Department of African and Afro-American Studies that never met.

According to the report, former department Chairman Julius Nyang'oro and his department manager, Deborah Crowder, were responsible for offering hundreds of “irregular” classes that had no faculty involvement. Crowder managed the classes and assigned grades.

SACS put the university on notice when claims of academic impropriety surfaced in 2011, and Wheelan said her organization would consider the Wainstein report as a new issue.


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  • Alex25 Nov 14, 2014

    20 Years of Cheating involved thousands of people. Professors, athletes, tutors, coaches, advisors, trainers, managers, girlfriends, parents, aunts, student assistants, etc.

    This is what fascinates me......

  • heelsforever Nov 13, 2014

    View quoted thread

    It will take years to get to the point where people are actually testifying.

  • 27228 Nov 13, 2014

    UNC deserves to be punished for the lack of institutional control and the fact that it used fake classes to keep athletes eligible to compete. They should lose at least one national championship in men's basketball (2005). They should also be put on probation and lose football and basketball scholarships. At a minimum. One thing is clear though: the lawsuit filed by McAdoo changes everything. Now the investigators will be able to subpoena people from the athletic and academic sides of UNC. The truth is going to be ugly.

  • scott42 Nov 13, 2014

    I expect the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to simply turn a blind eye to the widespread cheating. That will prove beyond any doubt that accreditation is much ado about nothing. A private company that engaged in comparable fraud would probably be driven out of business.

  • Lasata Nov 13, 2014

    I would agree that punishing current and futures students for others mistakes is silly but that is how our society handles things. Its why there's gun laws. We learn from the past and we try to make changes to the current and the future to prevent them from happening again. Clearly I am not in any way comparing academic fraud to gun violence it was just the first example that popped into my head.

  • H_UNC Nov 13, 2014

    This 18 year scandal is miniscule compared to what this university has done for the state of NC for the past 200 years. Taking away accreditation can mean no federal funding or aid for current and future students-- students who were not attending UNC during the time of the scandal and therefore, should not be affected. It may also take away from important grants and research projects. There's a new chancellor and a completely new football staff. Why punish those who were never involved, and why punish a whole university when less than 1% of its student body population during that entire period were actually involved?

  • Doug Hanthorn Nov 13, 2014
    user avatar

    What's there to consider. It's over. It was a limited number of people pulling a scam and it isn't happening now. You gonna pull someone's degree because an athlete went to some sham courses?

  • Amy Kunkle Nov 13, 2014
    user avatar

    This is going to be really interesting. Considering how big this issue is, I think justice will swing long and hard. One thing's for sure- there will not be any winners.