UNC-Chapel Hill accreditation status remains unclear
Posted November 19, 2014
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Six days after an accrediting organization sent a letter to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill officials regarding its review of an academic fraud investigation, school administrators haven't acknowledged whether the letter outlines any areas in which it was found to be out of compliance with accreditation standards.
Former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein released a 131-page report on Oct. 22 that showed academic advisers at UNC-Chapel Hill steered student-athletes for 18 years toward classes that never met and required only a short paper to pass.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools put the university on notice when claims of academic impropriety surfaced in 2011, and SACS president Belle Wheelan said her organization considered Wainstein's report as a new issue.
Faculty Chairman Dr. Bruce Cairns apologized Wednesday to the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees for the black eye the scandal has given the university, and he updated them on the reforms the school has undertaken and how faculty members are responding to Wainstein's findings.
"We are all still interested in reiterating what it is that we are here to do," said Cairns, the John Stackhouse Distinguished Professor of Surgery at the UNC School of Medicine. "We want to work with the administration and make sure that all of the issues that would be identified in the accreditation process are identified."
The university has until early January to respond to SACS, explaining what it's doing to come back into compliance. SACS will review that plan and determine if it is enough to comply with accreditation standards.