Wainstein investigation cost UNC $3 million

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- UNC Chapel Hill said Friday it has gotten the bill from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP for the Kenneth Wainstein investigation and it is $3,111,385.17.

In October, the former federal prosecutor released a more than 130-page report uncovering 18 years of academic fraud at the University of North Carolina.

In those 18 years, the report showed 3,100 students were enrolled in paper classes, many of them were athletes. Those classes required little to no work. Over the span of almost two decades, the report showed student athletes were steered toward those classes to boost their grades and eligibility.

The campus also released a letter from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges showing the agency that accredits the school wants to take a deeper look into the university's practices after the Wainstein report's findings.

The new demand for documents and explanations by Jan. 7 comes after the organization twice before dug into the evolving academic scandal since it surfaced in 2011. The problems centered on the academic department formerly named African and Afro-American Studies and were an offshoot of an NCAA investigation into the school's football program that began the previous year.

The accrediting commission's letter notes its standards expect "an institution to operate with integrity in all matters." The Wainstein report shows "that UNC-Chapel Hill was not diligent in providing information to the committee" during an earlier review in April 2013, the letter said, and "the institution may have had information that was not shared."

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt admitted the accreditation letter was harsh Friday afternoon, but she promised that everyone in Chapel Hill is learning from this difficult lesson. The chancellor said the letter was very tough and will require all parties to come back together

UNC had just been cleared a couple months ago for what it investigated originally, but then that new information came out in the Wainstein report.

Folt said this is an opportunity for UNC to defend its integrity and there should be strict oversight

"It is important for our crediting agency to do what it needs to do and, to do that properly, they need ask tough questions," said Folt. "So, I don't resent them. I don't think it's fine, but what we need to do now is go back and we have all those processes in place that I believe address everything that's currently even in the Wainstein report."

ABC11 asked Folt about the multi-million dollar price tag for the Wainstein report. She said it is a lot of money, but it was well spent to get to the heart of this matter.

She went on to say the firm did their job in a first-rate way, and the school will pay that price and use it as a chance to move forward.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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