Local News

UNC-CH staffer won't be charged in academic fraud investigation

Posted March 4, 2014

— Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Tuesday that he won't pursue criminal charges against a former administrative assistant in a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill department at the center of an academic fraud investigation involving student-athletes.

Deborah Crowder, who has been linked to academic improprieties in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, has been cooperating with prosecutors in the criminal investigation of the case, Woodall said.

The allegations focused on no-show classes, altered grades and other improprieties revealed during an NCAA investigation into the football program that began in the summer of 2010.

An independent investigation led by former Gov. Jim Martin into academic irregularities at UNC-Chapel Hill revealed that problems were concentrated in the department and dated to about 1994. Martin found no anomalies outside of that department and no specific link between the scandal and student-athletes.

Former department chairman Julius Nyang’oro was indicted in December on a charge of obtaining property by false pretense. Authorities allege that he was paid $12,000 to teach for a summer class that never met.

Crowder, who has retired from the university, also has agreed to cooperate with a new outside investigation being launched by UNC-Chapel Hill administrators, Woodall said.

The university last month hired former U.S. Justice Department attorney Kenneth Wainstein to review information uncovered during the State Bureau of Investigation probe of the department, which led to Nyang'oro's indictment.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • David McIntee Mar 5, 2014
    user avatar

    What about Butch Davis?

  • dave437 Mar 5, 2014

    what a completely unsurprising story. the investigation finds no link to athletes, AND decides not to press charges against anyone....

    how very convenient. which rug is this all getting swept under?

  • early exit Roy Mar 5, 2014

    I don't think she will ever testify to anything incriminating of unc athletics or admin. I bet you she has been paid off. If not the DA (unc grad) will not ask any tough questions. He'll probably toss soft ball questions to her like the ex Gov did. Remember this is the lady when she retired a "person" gave her 100K for something, you figure?

  • Jackson Smith Mar 4, 2014
    user avatar

    She did wrong and not is getting off.

  • Veronica Hammond Mar 4, 2014
    user avatar

    Yeah, the secretaries are the root of academic corruption. (rolls eyes)

  • Bill of Rights Mar 4, 2014

    "I'm looking for a really top-notch student that graduated from an African-American studies program", said no employer ever.

  • tbg0519 Mar 4, 2014

    Let's hope she sings like a canary in exchange.

  • raleighboy524 Mar 4, 2014

    No surprise that she would cooperate in order to avoid being charged, prosecuted and possibly jailed herself. Could see this coming 10 miles away.

  • cbuckyoung Mar 4, 2014

    That's right-do wrong-cooperate with the investigation into your wrong doing-no charges against you.
    Makes ZERO sense.
    The only thing that makes sense is doing away with these gender/racial "programs" that are rift with corruption and spread racial/gender antipathy. No wonder no one cares if students attend these classes or turn in papers as these are bogus majors anyway.

  • ncguy Mar 4, 2014

    Mr woodall will no recieve a life timeRams club membership and box seats-more at 11