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Friday, October 24, 2014

Whackademia Quote: Phantom Courses for College Athletes

     On October 22, 2014, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said it will discipline nine more employees for an academic fraud that spanned 18 years and made it easier for student athletes to maintain eligibility to play. The school, which has won five national basketball championships, released the results of an independent investigation into the fraud in which 3,100 students took so-called "paper classes"--with no faculty involvement or class attendance. Almost half of the students were athletes…

     A series of probes that began in 2010 revealed the university had improperly cut corners for years to help student-athletes get better grades. The scandal has roiled the campus and drawn harsh national spotlight, shaking up the football program and leading to the resignation of former Chancellor Holden Thorp, who departed last year…

     The latest investigation is the result of information that emerged from a criminal probe by the Orange County District Attorney in North Carolina, where UNC at Chapel Hill is located. The DA last year dropped charges against Julius Nyang' oro, former chairman of the African and Afro-American Studies department that is at the center of the scandal, after he began cooperating with authorities.

    Nyang' oro had been charged with obtaining property under false pretenses after the university released a report in December 2012 that found the black studies department had offered courses where classes didn't meet and made unauthorized grade changes. The criminal charge was linked to payments the professor received for courses he never taught….

Michael McDonald, "UNC Academic Fraud Spanned 18 Years, Involved 3,100 Students," October 22, 2014


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