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UNC Academic scandal...
Report finds academic fraud evidence in UNC department Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/05/04/2...rylink=cpy
Quote:An internal investigation into UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of African and Afro-American Studies has found evidence of academic fraud involving more than 50 classes that range from no-show professors to unauthorized grade changes for students.
One of the no-show classes is the Swahili course taken by former football player Michael McAdoo that prompted NCAA findings of impermissible tutoring, and drew more controversy when the final paper he submitted was found to have been heavily plagiarized.
The investigation found many of the suspect classes were taught in the summer by former department chairman Julius Nyang’oro, who resigned from that post in September. The university now says Nyang’oro, 57, who was the department’s first-ever chairman, is retiring July 1.
Quote:The report evolved from the athletic and academic scandal that engulfed UNC’s football team, but it said there is no evidence that student-athletes received more favorable treatment than students who were not athletes. It also said that no student received a grade without doing course work. The report has been shared with the NCAA, which could not be reached for immediate comment.
The 10-page report said the findings are a blow to the university’s academic integrity. The findings were so serious that the university consulted with the district attorney and the SBI about investigating forgery allegations, as some professors said their signatures were forged in documents certifying that they had taught some of the classes in question. Professors also said they had not authorized grade changes for students that the department submitted to the registrar’s office.
Law enforcement officials declined to investigate because they did not think the forgeries, if proven, rose to the level of criminal activity, according to the report.
"We are deeply disturbed by what we have learned in the course of our review," said Jonathan Hartlyn and William L. Andrews, two senior faculty administrators who conducted the investigation. "Our review has exposed numerous violations of professional trust, affecting the relationship of faculty and students and the relationships among faculty colleagues in this department."
They added, "These violations have undermined the educational experience of a number of students, have the potential to generate unfounded doubt and mistrust toward the department and its faculty, and could harm the academic reputation of the university."
Quote:The problems first surfaced two years ago during the NCAA’s investigation into improper benefits for football players. The NCAA found that a tutor, Jennifer Wiley, had provided impermissible academic help to three football players. Wiley was a student when she began tutoring for UNC-CH’s athletic department, but by the time she had graduated, the university had dropped her for being too friendly with student athletes.
But in the summer of 2009, Michael McAdoo, a defensive end for the Tar Heels, asked Wiley to help him on a paper for an intermediate Swahili class taught by Nyang’oro. Wiley, the NCAA found, had supplied a bibliography and footnotes for the paper, work that McAdoo was expected to do. The impermissible help played a big role in the NCAA’s decision to revoke McAdoo’s remaining two years of eligibility.
McAdoo sued in state Superior Court to try to get back on the team, and in doing so, he included the paper as an exhibit. Rival N.C. State fans quickly analyzed the paper and found several passages of plagiarism that the university, its honor court, university athletic and academic officials, and the NCAA did not catch. The Wolfpack fans buzzed about the plagiarism on message boards, and the media, particularly a blog known as SportsbyBrooks, took notice. The N&O confirmed the plagiarism in a follow-up report.
But the plagiarism was just the beginning of the questions for Nyang’oro, who was the department’s first chairman when it was formed 20 years ago.
The N&O later obtained a partial academic transcript of Marvin Austin, another football player caught up in the football scandal. The transcript showed that Austin took an upper-level summer class from Nyang’oro before Austin began his first full semester as a freshman, and before he had taken a remedial writing class. Nyang’oro gave Austin a B-plus on the course.
Nyang’oro could not produce a syllabus for that class, Bioethics in Afro-American Studies, or the Swahili class that McAdoo took. That was another red flag, particularly because syllabi provided by other professors teaching intermediate Swahili focused on reading and writing in Swahili, not writing papers about Swahili culture in English.
Nyang’oro told the university investigators he did not teach the Swahili class. The plagiarized paper McAdoo submitted lists Nyang’oro’s name as the course professor. The investigation found it was one of nine classes in which there is no evidence that any professor "actually supervised the course and graded the work, all though grade rolls were signed and submitted." Other professors who were listed on grade rolls for those classes said their names were forged on course documents.
McAdoo was one of 59 students taking those classes.
The investigation found more than 40 other courses, most of them during summer sessions, in which Nyang’oro was the instructor of record but there was little evidence of teaching. The instructor would provide an assignment and grade the class paper, "but engaged in limited or no classroom or other instructional contact with students." Austin’s class was one of them, Hartlyn said.
Quote:Nyang’oro has taught at UNC-CH since 1984, and his resume lists two teaching honors -- one from undergraduate students for the 1990-91 academic year, and the outstanding faculty award from the Class of 2000 - and four pages of published books and articles.
Nyang’oro has a law degree from Duke University, and masters and doctoral degrees from Miami University of Ohio, according to his resume. He received his bachelor’s degree from a university in Tanzania.