External association wants details on UNC academic probe

Posted December 15, 2012 5:43 p.m. EST
Updated December 15, 2012 5:51 p.m. EST

— A collegiate accrediting association has asked the University of North Carolina to share the results of internal and external investigations into alleged academic fraud, Chancellor Holden Thorp told the UNC Board of Trustees Wednesday.

Thorp and the trustees will hear from former Gov. Jim Martin Thursday about what he found in a review of academic practices at the university. They will share that report with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Thorp told trustees in a memo dated Dec. 12.

"It is not surprising that a respected accrediting agency like SACS would want to take a closer look at the university’s response," Thorp wrote.

Thorp asked Martin in August to look into allegations of no-show classes, altered grades and other improprieties within the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. 

Martin has said his team would review other departments and all athletic programs at UNC-CH to determine how widespread problems were and when they started.

Martin will make his presentation to the board at 10 a.m., and he will be followed by a speaker from consulting firm Baker Tilly with a review of new policies instituted in response to the scandal. Both reports will be shared with SACS, Thorp said.

Internal investigations at UNC surfaced irregularities in 54 lecture classes taught in the Af-Am department, and a WRAL News investigation found that independent study courses in the department had a disproportionate number of athletes enrolled.

UNC has been under a cloud of suspicion since the summer of 2010 when the NCAA began an investigation of the football team. What began as a look at whether players were getting gifts from agents expanded to include a probe of the academic support system and resulted in punishment for the football team that extends into 2015.

Thorp, then-Director of Athletics Dick Baddour and the chairman of the Af-Am department, Julius Nyang’oro, have since resigned. Head football coach Butch Davis was fired in August 2011.

Thorp has said Martin's review would have no restrictions or limits.