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UNC Grade Scandal

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The University of North Carolina grades scandal
For a long time, the University of North Carolina (UNC) has been known to be a home of great sportsmen and academic giants. From basketball to football, the University has produced great names in the field of sport, such as Michael Jordan. This was only until two articles were published in the media tarnishing the good reputation. One article by Aaron Beard of the associated press titled, ‘Fake classes, inflated grades: Massive UNC scandal included athletes over two decades’, and the other by Sara Ganim and Devon Sayer of CNN investigates titled, ‘UNC report finds 18 years of academic fraud to keep athletes playing.’ The articles reveal massive fraud in the university in which students mostly athletes were awarded inflated grades. The university now faces a negative reputation from the public, tough sanctions from accreditation bodies and social consequences regarding legal battles and financial loss.
As the shocking report revealed, up to 3100 students were enrolled in bogus classes and then awarded good grades without even attending classes. This report puts the university in a bad light, as people will no longer see the institution as a center of excellence. What is worse is that at the center of the scandal are senior university staff members. The allegations were associated with the chairperson and his deputy in the department of African-American studies program. One of the publication partly says, “For five years, UNC has insisted the paper classes were the doing of one rogue professor” (Gamin & Sayers) these are supposed to be people of integrity.

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Amid the serious allegations, the university is now facing a tough reception from the accreditation bodies. It’s integrity has been put to the question on the quality of education the university is offering. The university has been asked to comply with the SACS’ commission’s regulation for universities. Further, the institution has been asked to call on all the affected students to take another class at no cost. The Commission is interested to ensure quality education for higher learning institutions to protect the interest of students from any possible future problems. (Beard)
The allegations prompted investigations from the state; a taskforce was formed, led by former U.S Justice Department official Kenneth Wains. He conducted an eight-month investigation and concluded that the allegations were substantive. Athlete students were being awarded high grades from paper classes for them to remain eligible to compete. This only led to further accusations and counter-accusation with some staff members admitting to the existence of the scheme whereas others like basketball coach Roy Williams disowning any liability. The battles even saw some of the staff members sent packing for playing a role in the scheme as confirmed by the university chancellor, Folt. (Beard)
Truly, the university remains at a crossroad from the negative publicity from the media and the public. The university is now under scrutiny from relevant authorities such as the SACS’ Commission. It also risks losing all the prestigious titles it has won in sports, which could lead to massive financial losses and even court cases from aggrieved parties. Different stakeholders remain keen to see how the university handles the matter, but it would be in the best interest of everyone if they uphold integrity and hold those responsible for the scheme accountable if it has to regain its glory.
Works Cited
BEARD, AARON. “Fake Classes, Inflated Grades: Massive UNC Scandal Included Athletes over 2 Decades.” Star Tribune. Associated Press, 23 Oct. 2014. Web. 7 Nov. 2015.
Ganim, Sara, and Devon Sayers. “UNC Athletics Report Finds 18 Years of Academic Fraud – CNN.com.” CNN. Cable News Network, 23 Oct. 2014. Web. 7 Nov. 2015.
“Trouble at UNC after Report Says Some Classes Were Fake.” Newsela. Web. 7 Nov. 2015.

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