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UNC leaders to get report Wednesday on academic scandal

Posted October 20, 2014 10:53 a.m. EDT
Updated October 20, 2014 6:00 p.m. EDT

— The University of North Carolina Board of Governors will be briefed on the latest in the investigation into academic fraud at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during a special meeting Wednesday morning.

Former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein will deliver the report. He was hired last February by UNC President Tom Ross and UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt to review information uncovered during a State Bureau of Investigation probe of the former Department of African and Afro-American Studies.

A separate 2012 investigation led by former Gov. Jim Martin found problems in the department, including courses where no classes met and unauthorized grade changes, dating to 1997 and placed blame on former department chairman Julius Nyang'oro and a retired administrator.

The SBI investigation led to a December indictment against Nyang'oro on a charge of obtaining property by false pretense. According to the indictment, he was paid $12,000 to teach one of the no-show classes in the summer of 2011.

The Orange County district attorney dismissed the charge against Nyang’oro in July because he was cooperating with the investigation.

Wednesday's joint meeting with UNC-Chapel Hill's Board of Trustees is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the Kenan Center at the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Wainstein will then publicly present his finding at a 1 p.m. press conference, and the report will be posted then at carolinacommitment.unc.edu.

In an open letter Monday, Folt said she and Ross will "share our reactions to the report, our plans for responding, and also answer questions from the media." She also said she plans to have follow-up meetings with students, faculty, staff and alumni.

"I understand that many of you have questions, and I hope that many will be answered on Wednesday," Folt said in the letter. "We will continue to keep you informed as we move forward."