Four-member BOG panel to oversee UNC-CH academic scandal investigation


There is a lot of news breaking from the slow-motion train wreck in Chapel Hill.  Tonight the News and Observer ran this article explaining how the BOG has now all of a sudden decided that maybe UNC-CH wasn’t exactly going the extra mile to get to the bottom of their raging academic scandal.  Some good quotes:

UNC system President Tom Ross, responding to complaints about a lack of oversight for UNC-Chapel Hill, called Thursday for a four-member panel of the Board of Governors to review the university’s investigation of its African and Afro-American Studies Department.

Ross said that if the panel or the rest of the board isn’t satisfied with the university’s work, or is unsatisfied with the outcome of the probe of the State Bureau of Investigation, they can launch a full review.

The Board of Governors placed the academic fraud case on its governance committee’s agenda this week after rival N.C. State fans and officials raised the issue of disparate treatment. They pointed out that 23 years ago, the board launched an investigation into improprieties within the Wolfpack basketball program and the subsequent findings helped lead to the exits of coach Jim Valvano and Chancellor Bruce Poulton.
Another surprise came at the meeting, when Ross confirmed that Deborah Crowder, the administrative assistant at the center of the case, has been in a long-standing relationship with a former UNC basketball player, Warren Martin. Crowder, who retired in 2009, has declined to talk to university officials about the suspect classes.

Chancellor Holden Thorp, who gave a long report about the investigation, said that class helped prompt the university to notify the NCAA on Sept. 1 because it was full of football players. But he said the speed with which the class was created and filled didn’t become apparent until much later.

Board member David Powers said of that class: “It seems to me very obvious that it was set up to help the athletes.”

Also late Thursday yahoo posted this AP article that summarizes the recent bombshells and provides “the flagship” with more great national press.  Some quotes:
In the past month, a university investigation launched amid the football probe into improper benefits and academic misconduct revealed embarrassing irregularities and suspect classes in an academic department, with football players making up more than a third of enrollments in those classes. It’s an example of how school administrators are still sifting through what happened at a time when they had hoped it would all be behind them.

The school investigation found fraud and poor oversight in 54 classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) between summer 2007 and summer 2011. That included unauthorized grade changes, reports of possibly forged faculty signatures on grade rolls, lack of appropriate supervision and infrequent classes.

”These are outrageous circumstances that we have discovered,” Thorp told the board. ”We are upset and disappointed. This is not what we expect from our university.”

The board of governors has appointed a four-member panel to review the school’s investigation.

Speaking of “the flagship,” the Rocky Mount Telegram threw some pretty good zingers at Thorp in this piece that was posted Wednesday.  Some of the better lines:

As interim football coach last fall at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Everett Withers sparked a spirited pre-game exchange with rival N.C. State by referring to UNC as North Carolina’s “flagship university.”

Today, as UNC continues to deal with still more embarrassing revelations about summer school classes and football players, we might all be grateful if Chancellor Holden Thorp pushed the school a little harder to live up to Withers’ description.


Thorp has wrestled with this deep-rooted problem for two years now. If he is unable or unwilling to uncover and fix the kinds of allegations that continue to appear on the front pages of state newspapers, it is time for him to step aside and make way for someone who will.

Also, I meant to link this excellent entry from the Duke Basketball Report in my last entry.  It gives an interesting perspective that is well worth reading.

That wraps it up for tonight.  Stay tuned.  For those wondering, here are the individuals on the four-member BOG oversight panel:


Hari H. Nath Board of Governors, Term 2011 – 2015

Occupation: Retired businessman
Education: MSIE Operations Research, University of Missouri; B.E., Mining, University of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Major Educational/Elective Offices: Chairman, Board of Advisors, The Carying Place-N.C. Profit Organization; member Planning Zoning Board, Town of Cary; member, Board of Advisors North Carolina Indian American Political Action Committee; former member Cary Central Rotary Club; former regional president Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation USA Inc.; former member Town of Cary Board of Adjustments; and former member Town of Cary Economic Development Commission.



Ann B. Goodnight Board of Governors, Term 2011 – 2015

Occupation: Community volunteer and businesswoman
Education: B.A., Political Science, 1968, North Carolina State University

Major Education/Elective Offices: former trustee of North Carolina State University; co-founder/board member of Cary Academy; board member of N.C. Public School Forum, N.C. New Schools Project and The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce; Chair of YMCA We Build People Campaign; trustee of N.C. Museum of Art; Advisory Member of William & Ida Friday Institute, North Carolina State University; trustee of Wake Education Partnership; former Chair of John Rex Endowment.



W. Louis Bissette, Jr. Board of Governors, Term 2011 – 2015

Occupation: Attorney
Education: B.A., History, Wake Forest; J.D. UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law; M.B.A. University of Virginia 

Major Educational/Elective Offices: former Mayor of Asheville; former President Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce; former Chairman WNC Development Association; former Secretary Mission-St. Josephs Health System; former Vice Chairman Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation; former Chairman Western Carolina Industries; former President N.C. Arboretum Society; former Vice Chairman Buncombe County Economic Development Commission; former Chairman Asheville Merchant’s Corp; former Chairman Forest Commercial Bank.



Walter C. Davenport Board of Governors, Term 2009 – 2013

Occupation: Certified Public Accountant
Education: B.A., Business Administration, Morehouse College in Atlanta
Major Educational/Elective Offices: former Chair Elizabeth City State University Board of Trustees; member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants; served on the AICPA Minority Recruitment and Equal Opportunity Committee and AICPA Board of Examiners; former President and member of the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners; former board member of Duke Raleigh Hospital and the Hospital Alliance for Community Health; board member of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, local BB&T Advisory, United Way of the Greater Triangle and N.C. Center for Nonprofits

General UNC Scandal

29 Responses to Four-member BOG panel to oversee UNC-CH academic scandal investigation

  1. wilmwolf80 06/14/2012 at 11:10 PM #

    And we would have gotten away with it, if not for those meddling Wolfpack fans.

  2. ppack3 06/14/2012 at 11:12 PM #

    I love, love, love the selection of the four BOG representatives!

    I also love that credit is consistantly given to “rival NC State fans” for keeping the pressure on and calling for justice!

  3. Wufpacker 06/14/2012 at 11:28 PM #

    Nice to see they’re at least acknowledging the smell. Doubt seriously that it has/had anything to do with NCSU fans’ cries of “disparate treatment”, however. They’ve been ignoring those for years now.

  4. ppack3 06/14/2012 at 11:48 PM #

    Thorpe has now stated that Butch did know anything about Nyang’oro. And it’s conveniently glossed over that his firing coincided with the non-release of those court-ordered phone records.

    Let’s get those records released and find out if Butch knew about this stuff!

  5. wolfpacker 06/14/2012 at 11:58 PM #

    They’ve got to blame somebody…might as well be Wolfpack fans.

    If there is ONE THING FOR CERTAIN, they can’t seem to admit that the program was put in place 23 years ago to enable the student-athlete to:

    1. Stay eligible
    2. Get their degree
    3. Not have to do anything for the degree
    4. Agree to keep silent
    5. Believe that they are entitled to a degree without work, because they go to unx

  6. oceanman 06/14/2012 at 11:58 PM #

    Selections for BOG panel seem excellent. Finally Ross does something that passes the smell test. It will be interesting to see what walls they run into in Hippie Hill.

  7. packalum44 06/15/2012 at 12:03 AM #

    Tomm Ross uses an “or” statement. How could any reasonable adult be satisfied with the scope and substance of the internal investigation? The simple fact that UNC officials denied athletes’ benefiting is circumstantially proven beyond much doubt: 2 courses consisted of ONLY 1 basketball player and the 2011 summer class that filled up with 18 football players.

    With circumstantial evidence that strong, the internal investigation better prove how this ISN’T preferential treatment. In other words, prove how this was simply coincidence. We all know the chances of coincidence are smaller than being struck by lightning twice. And this is just based on public knowledge. Give me a break.

  8. packalum44 06/15/2012 at 12:05 AM #

    Regarding the 4 member panel I am not so optimistic. It will take alot of guts to stand up to the UNC dominated BOG. 4 against 30. I don’t like those odds especially when there are no incentives.

  9. MrPlywood 06/15/2012 at 1:41 AM #

    I also like the makeup of the panel. At the very least they will be able to proceed without initial influence from UNX grads…

  10. imawolf 06/15/2012 at 6:25 AM #

    Let us remember, Butch was not fired. He was asked to go away. He is still as far as I am aware, still on their payroll. I feel this is an obvious symptom to the festering mess in the infected hole they call the flag ship. Anyone involved, that allowed this to have happened should be terminated.

  11. graywolf 06/15/2012 at 6:31 AM #

    At least there is only one unc-cheat alum on the committee and that was for his law degree (BS at Wake).

    The committee will need some thick skin to get through this process ……..I am hopeful they will push for major changes at the flagship.

    Thanks to ALL the wolfpack faithful that pushed to bring this information to light….now onto the 216.

  12. wolfman1 06/15/2012 at 6:36 AM #

    I’d sure like to find out what the grade distribution was on the class last summer with 18 players and one former player…did ANYBODY get less than a “B”?

  13. TLeo 06/15/2012 at 7:05 AM #

    Someone in the media finally said it–“….it’s time for him to step aside…” Thorp has been actively particiapating in this coverup (and most likely the cheating itself) so he needs to be thrown out as well as others over there.

  14. GAWolf 06/15/2012 at 7:58 AM #

    Please excuse me for being skeptical, but I’ll wait to sing “The Witch is Dead” until these adults can prove that they will place their personal integrity above that of a cheating and entitled University structure.

    I’ll believe that truth will prevail when the people that matter start asking the difficult questions to the difficult people and demanding transparency. Until then, I’m going to assume it’s going to be the same business as usual of otherwise very intelligent people trying to work together to stick bubble gum in a crumbling dam. Get out, let the dam blow, and see what lies at the bottom of the lake they’ve been so desperately trying to keep covered in murky brown water.

    I’m also not so far impressed with the idiotic proposition that the media seems to be buying that it’s “football only.” That’s without a doubt simply stupid. There were basketball players and baseball players and whatever sport you want to choose players going to these fake classes.

    Don’t forget this is the THIRD prong of just the academic prong of their institutionalized cheating. Wiley and Tutorgate, fake papers, and now fake classes.

    If this commission tries to isolate it, then shame on them and their professional names just like all the other administrators, judges, lawyers, coaches and professors who have participated in the coverup to this point.

    Further, Dan Kane recently was quoted in a past piece that he read the law on the Public Information Act and that’s why he persisted to get information that the State resisted releasing on a prior major public government scandal. Assuming Kane is as intelligent and gumption-filled as we believe him to do be at this point, he should absolutely know that the 216 records need to be released. Go get them, N&O.

    If the N&O doesn’t know why they should be released, they can read our “brief” on the topic previously published on this blog.

  15. LRM 06/15/2012 at 8:14 AM #

    I bet if they checked Dr. Swahili’s phone records, they’d see plenty of calls from the same 216 area code.

  16. GAWolf 06/15/2012 at 8:23 AM #

    One of the radio dingdongs was talking about how there is still no “smoking gun” linking the athletic department to Lemonjello, but that’s only because those guns have been buried with subterfuge.

  17. TheAliasTroll 06/15/2012 at 8:44 AM #

    Remember when Hakeem Nicks graduated from UNC in 3 years, and went on to score an eleven on his NFL Wonderlic test, putting him at being barely literate?

    That was funny.

  18. Codebrown 06/15/2012 at 8:48 AM #

    With the exception of the UNC homer in the middle, this looks like the Death Panel that Sarah Palin was talking about.

  19. triadwolf 06/15/2012 at 9:32 AM #

    They must be serious about this; do you know how much work it takes to find 3 BOG members without UNC degrees?

  20. GAWolf 06/15/2012 at 9:51 AM #

    Great, great poit Triadwolf.

  21. TOBtime 06/15/2012 at 10:01 AM #

    Glad to see Ann Goodnight on the panel. I haven’t heard her views spoken publicly on education but she does a TON of work for education. Her husband is about as no-nonsense as they come towards education and I have heard him speak publicly about it – especially math & science education in this country.

    I don’t think either will take the sham at the hole lightly.

    This should get interesting quickly!

  22. Packfan28 06/15/2012 at 10:36 AM #

    What exactly is this panel going to do? Are they going to sit in a room together and call people in for questioning? Are they each going to do their own investigating, or get people to investigate for them? I’ve never seen committees like this accomplish much. I mean it’s a step in the right direction, but I question how effective it can be.

  23. db321 06/15/2012 at 11:03 AM #

    I think this statement is very telling…Ross set up this 4 member review because he probably couldn’t have gotten the votes from the full board to do an investigation, which would have required a full vote…

    “The review does not require a full vote of the board, since it has the approval of the board’s chairman, Hannah Gage.

    Read more here:

  24. vtpackfan 06/15/2012 at 11:13 AM #

    This is truly a rip roaring good time for sure. Media outlets on the prowl and now this.

    My two cents on the committee is this:

    The Bissette guy…meh.

    Goodnight has no obstacles in determining a decision based on the facts. Her and Jim seem to have a singular look on life, and shortcuts is not part of it.

    Davenport may be quite decisive in this outcome. Let’s face reality for a moment. Student athletes, prodimently African American Males, were being steered by Academic Advisors to a different model of scholastic undertakings then their peers. They’re already asked to burden the load of a full load with athletics so they really have to go by what’s made available to them. When it becomes apparent that tackling and catching footballs was the only thing they were offered a high grade of training for, then this BoG member may be pretty harsh on the Carolina Way.

    The fourth member couldn’t have been more deserving. Has a degree in Mining. Probably never has, nor ever will, encounter such a dig with so many hidden deposits 🙂

  25. MP 06/15/2012 at 12:02 PM #

    “The Board of Governors placed the academic fraud case on its governance committee’s agenda this week after rival N.C. State fans and officials raised the issue of disparate treatment.”

    Disparate treatment… sure.
    There’s also that little ol’ thing that it’s the right thing to do.

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