Report on UNC scandal released

Former governor Jim Martin presenting his report to the UNC Board of Trustees.
December 19, 2012 9:00:00 PM PST
Former N.C. governor Jim Martin on Thursday released the results of his four-month probe into the academic scandal that has rocked the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and led to the ousting of several university officials.

Martin's report runs about 80 pages and was "painful" in parts, said UNC Board of Trustees Chair Wade Hargrove.

Click here to read the full report

The former governor was tasked with looking into irregular independent study classes within the university's African and Afro-American studies program. The classes featured no classroom instruction. Instead, students were expected to do research on their own and turn in a paper at the end of the semester for a final grade.

Many of the students who took the classes were athletes, but Martin said his investigation shows that "this was not an athletic scandal, but an academic scandal, which is worse," he said.

Martin said he was tasked with looking at classes throughout the university, but found the scandal was isolated to the African and Afro-American studies program and its former chairman Julius Nyang'oro.

"It did not metastasize," said Martin.

Martin said he did interviews with 86 people, including students, faculty, coaches and even parents. He told trustees that he found involvement only by Nyang'oro and one other administrator. He said eight other professors were unwittingly and indirectly compromised when someone else signed their signatures to grade rolls and grade changes without their knowledge.

Martin said he found 54 department classes that had little or no indication of instruction along with at least 10 cases of unauthorized grade changes for students who did not do all the work.

Nyang'oro resigned from his post as the probe began. He is also the subject of a criminal investigation to see if he was paid for classes he did not teach. He has not commented to ABC11.

Martin was asked about Nyang'oro's possible motivation. He told trustees he could only speculate, but he found no indication any coaches were aware of what was going on.

Introducing Martin at the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Chairman Hargrove said the school will work to make changes.

"This must never be allowed to happen again," he said.

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp, who announced he was stepping down following several scandals at the school, said he and other administrators took it for granted that things were being done the right way. He said they were complacent and didn't ask questions that should have been asked.

"The hard questions have been asked and today we're here to get the answers," he said.

Martin seemed to draw a line between the problems within the African and Afro-American studies program and other recent scandals at UNC involving athletics.

UNC's problems began in 2010 when the school announced it was looking into allegations of plagiarism, tutors who violated rules, faculty who failed to provide oversight, alleged unethical conduct by an assistant coach, and allegations that players got perks from professional sports agents.

The NCAA said the school was "responsible for multiple violations, including academic fraud, impermissible agent benefits, ineligible participation, and a failure to monitor its football program."

Penalties imposed by the association included a one-year postseason ban, reduction of 15 football scholarships, vacation of records, and three years probation.

In addition to Thorp stepping down, UNC fired former head football coach Butch Davis and former athletics director Dick Baddour resigned.

Both men have said they were not aware of - or were involved - in any of the irregularities.

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