The probe will be lead by former Gov. Jim Martin.
In a letter to the school, Chancellor Holden Thorp said Martin will be assisted by Virchow, Krause & Company, LLP, a national management consulting firm.
Thorp also said he has asked Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities (AAU), to review "the appropriate future relationship between academics and athletics at the University."
As has previously been reported, an internal investigation by UNC uncovered evidence of academic fraud within the school's Department of African and Afro-American Studies that included no-show classes and unauthorized grade changes.
The school's investigation of the AFAM department began as an offshoot of the NCAA investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct in the football program, which began in June 2010. That probe ultimately led to the firing of coach Butch Davis last July, though Davis wasn't cited for a violation when the NCAA penalized the program in March with a one-year bowl ban and 15 scholarship reductions over three years.
Davis, who has denied knowledge of wrongdoing, has said he never steered players to take AFAM classes nor met former department chairman Julius Nyang'oro -- whose name was linked to the grade rolls or as instructor of record for the majority of the suspect AFAM classes. Nyang'oro, who had led the department since 1997, resigned as department chairman last August and retired from the faculty in July.