In response to transparency and consistency concerns, a four-member panel of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors will review the Chapel Hill campus’ investigation into academic irregularities involving a former faculty member. According to media reports, the Board of Governors “expressed frustration that they have learned many details of the case through the media and that the university’s academic reputation remains under fire more than two years after the NCAA began investigating improprieties by UNC football players”. UNC-Chapel Hill’s investigation determined that 54 courses in the institution’s African and Afro-American Studies program “had little or no indication of instruction and at least 10 cases of unauthorized grade changes for students who didn’t do all the work”. The probe resulted in Julius Nyang’oro, the then-department chair, to resign in August 2011. Nyang’oro completed work at UNC in May 2012 and is set to retire on July 1, 2012.
This story surfaced in the public during the summer of 2012. Specifically, on June 8, 2012, Dan Kane and Andrew Carter of the News and Observer published an article concerning evidence that student athletes, particularly football players, were being steered to classes with little or no academic instruction by academic advisers. The article stated that of 54 suspect classes, all but nine were taught by former Nyang’oro. In many of these courses students were only provided with a term paper that would be due at the conclusion of the semester. The story further revealed that “other records indicated football and basketball players made up a majority of the enrollments of nine particularly suspect classes in which the professors listed as instructors have denied involvement, and have claimed that signatures were forged on records related to them.”