UNC Seeks to Fire Prof in Athlete Grade-Fixing Scandal

The latest in the wide ranging athletic grade fixing scandal in the nation’s colleges and universities finds the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill moving to dismiss a staff member and attempting to fire a professor involved in helping athletes pass non-existent classes in order to maintain eligibility for the school’s athletic programs.

The University of North Carolina announced the termination of academic counselor Jaimie Lee for her part in the student-athlete cheating scandal and the school seeks to fire the philosophy professor and former faculty leader Jeanette Boxill for her role in the scandal. The professor appeals the decision.

The UNC case especially alarmed compared to other student-athlete cheating scandals as entire classes in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies were invented out of whole cloth and students given passing grades even though no class work was ever carried out.

After an extensive review of the charges performed by former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein, Lee and Boxill were found to have been involved in creating fake classes to boost the grades of up to 3,100 student athletes from 1993 to 2011. The fake courses spanned the academic careers of players on three NCAA basketball championship teams.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said she was naming the professor “in light of the extraordinary circumstances underlying the longstanding and intolerable academic irregularities described in the Wainstein Report, as well as her role as chair of the faculty council during a period of time covered by the report.”

Several professors and employees have retired ahead of the scandal to avoid further punishments. Up to six other campus employees are still under scrutiny for involvement in the scandal and authorities say that any that are disciplined will be publicly identified at that time.

One of those who retired, senior lecturer Timothy McMillan of the African Studies program, was found to have known of the fake classes, but was careful not to learn too much. The report found that McMillan “effectively knew what was happening [with the fake classes], even if he was careful not to learn all of the details.”

In October, the University of North Carolina fired four other employees and disciplined five more for their part in the scandal.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com


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