Accrediting organization: Problems at UNC-CH 'a big deal'
The organization that accredits the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill put the school on 12-month probation Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear what impact that action would have on current students or faculty.Posted — Updated
SACS defines program content as: degree programs that embody a coherent course of study that is compatible with its stated mission and is based upon fields of study appropriate to higher education.
"It’s the root of what an academic institution does," Whelan said. "If you can’t count on the quality of the program that students enroll and are granted a degree then what can you do? Why do you exist as an institution?"
Mary Willingham, the former UNC learning specialist turned whistleblower, said running afoul of SACS was worse for UNC's reputation than its tangles with the NCAA.
She described the university's latest black eye as "embarassing."
"The NCAA can do one thing, but this is is worse to me because this affects the entire institution, not just the athletic department," she said.
In a message to the campus community, Folt called the probation "an expected consequence." Whelan said she had faith in Folt and the Board of Trustees to bring UNC back into compliance.
"They’ve worked very hard, and I believe they will continue to do so," she said.
SACS vice president Cheryl Cardell told UNC-Chapel Hill officials in a November letter that Wainstein's findings didn't jibe with information the university provided to the accrediting organization in 2013, when officials insisted the fraud was limited to the activities of two people in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.
Willingham said she believes that the trickle of revelations only served to aggravate SACS.
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