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The Kim/Folt Report

The former P and IP continue to have a tough time of it.

Down in Washington at the World Bank, the Wall Street Journal notes that Kim is moving towards mass layoffs — not a bad thing at the bloated institution. However, Kim seems to be incurring ever more staff rancor due to the maladroitness of his policy implementation:

More than 1,000 people may be trimmed from the World Bank in coming years as President Jim Yong Kim moves ahead with a restructuring of the development institution, according to several people familiar with the matter…

Part of the problem, argue some critics of Mr. Kim’s overhaul, is a lack of clear direction and a perception that the restructuring process hasn’t been transparent. Rumors of massive layoffs have been rife on the FacebookFB -1.10% pages of World Bank employees, the TwitterTWTR -1.70%-sphere and under the glass ceilings of the bank’s Washington headquarters. Management has so far been unable to quell fears…

Still, a lack of clarity nearly two years into the process is fueling discontent at the bank.

“What is so extraordinary here…is that you have had every single change-management consultancy working with this process in one way or another and yet nobody knows where the ship is going, what the size of the ship should be, and how many people are going to be needed to man the lifeboats,” said a former bank official.

Mr. Cadario [a former senior World Bank manager who spent four decades at the development institution] said Mr. Kim’s restructuring, even if it relies on attrition for staff reductions, risks undermining his own aspirations of creating a “knowledge bank.”

“If there is enough discouragement about the future of the bank and how people will be treated,” then the overhaul could fuel an exodus of crucial employees with deep knowledge of the bank’s operations, he said.

Meanwhile in Carolina, the wheels are starting to come off for Carol. A few months after she and her Provost savaged whistleblower Mary Willingham and the quality of Willingham’s research — earning a public rebuke from the Government Accountability Project — several former Tarheel players have stepped forward to describe how they received high grades for UNC’s nonexistent “paper classes,” and how tutors did their work for them. EPSN’s Steve Delson reported:

Rashad McCants, the second-leading scorer on the North Carolina basketball team that won the 2004-05 national title, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that tutors wrote his term papers, he rarely went to class for about half his time at UNC, and he remained able to play largely because he took bogus classes designed to keep athletes academically eligible.

McCants told “Outside the Lines” that he could have been academically ineligible to play during the championship season had he not been provided the assistance. Further, he said head basketball coach Roy Williams knew about the “paper class” system at UNC. The so-called paper classes didn’t require students to go to class; rather, students were required to submit only one term paper to receive a grade.

McCants also told “Outside the Lines” that he even made the dean’s list in the spring of 2005 despite not attending any of his four classes for which he received straight-A grades. He said advisers and tutors who worked with the basketball program steered him to take the paper classes within the African-American Studies program.

The News & Observer notes that McCants’ allegations directly implicate the athletics department for the first time:

…Still, McCants has no reason to lie. And his comments threaten to take North Carolina’s scandal to a new level with his claims Williams knew about the phony classes. All the firewalls the university has tried to build between the scandal and the basketball program could fall at once.

Football player Michael McAdoo already outlined how he was steered to no-show classes by academic advisers in the athletic department; McCants accuses the operation of extending as far as Williams’ office.

However, UNC basketball coach Roy Williams has rejected the notion that he had any knowledge of the preferential academic treatment given to basketball players. In a separate editorial, the News & Observer concludes:

… Chancellor Carol Folt, relatively new to the job and never before in a position overseeing a huge athletics enterprise, should have responded to McCants’ assertions forcefully and dramatically. The statement was a disappointing reaction, or nonreaction, on her part…

Folt needs to take public charge of a spiraling problem with a news conference. She can pursue facts on her own by meeting with Williams and McCants (and perhaps she’d like to have another meeting with Willingham). This is not something that can wait. This is a clear and present crisis.

Over to you, Carol.

Addendum: The News & Observer has noted on Friday that the former chair of the African-American Studies department at UNC, and his former department manager, are cooperating for the first time with an investigator looking into the paper classes scandal (there have been several investigations in the past). The two have the ability to reveal what really went on in the education of UNC’s student-athletes.

In the case of Rashad McCants, the players transcript reportedly shows the he received six C’s, one D and three F’s in non-African-American Studies (AFAM) courses, but 10 A’s, six B’s, one C and one D in AFAM courses.


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