Berger critical after Martin's UNC report

Sen. Phil Berger (R) Rockingham (Image courtesy NC General Assembly)
December 21, 2012 3:53:41 PM PST
North Carolina Senate President Phil Berger (R - Rockingham) sounded critical Friday after reading the report from former Governor Jim Martin on alleged academic misconduct at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Berger said it "raises a number of unanswered questions."

Martin spent four months 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's report did not get into the specifics of how many athletes benefitted. Instead, he told UNC trustees that he found no evidence anyone within the school's athletic programs sought special treatment for players. Martin blamed the scandal on the former chairman of the African and Afro-American studies program, Julius Nyang'oro, and his assistant.

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.

In a statement to the media Friday, Senator Berger said the scandal "reveals a significant and long standing failure at UNC-Chapel Hill to protect its integrity and academic reputation."

"The people of North Carolina have a long history and proud tradition of support for our public university system.  However, erosion of high quality standards and lapses in oversight will, over time, result in an attrition of public support.  The North Carolina Senate will exercise its appropriate oversight responsibilities in light of these events and this report," he said.

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