control, and governance
FRAUD FOR SPORT
Former North Carolina Gov. Jim Martin has absolved the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s athletic department and the academic support program for student-athletes of any wrongdoing in an academic fraud scandal, contending officials tried to raise red flags about questionable classes within the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, according to The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.). Martin — who was appointed to lead an investigation into academic improprieties at the university in 2012 — said although those officials twice tried to alert the university’s Faculty Committee on Athletics (in 2002 and 2006) to concerns about the higher-than-expected numbers of independent study enrollments and lecture-style classes that had been converted into independent studies, he wasn’t concerned about the red flags and told the officials that professors “had wide latitude how to teach a course.”
But a separate review of faculty athletic committee minutes for those years and 2007 do not show red flags being raised, and several committee members said they either had no recollection of any concerns or they said it never happened.
Martin’s report found 216 classes with proven or potential problems and 560 suspected unauthorized grade changes. Martin’s finding is critical to the university’s efforts to convince the NCAA that there were no violations related to an academic fraud scandal that has now been confirmed to go back as far as 1997.
Given the numerous issues and uncertainties surrounding this alleged academic fraud, the most appropriate course of action would be to undertake a more complete and comprehensive investigation and audit, preferably initiated by the University of North Carolina’s board of trustees, the NCAA, or a state regulatory office. During their review, auditors should examine several governance, oversight, management, and institutional issues, including:
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