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News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Folt at UNC: True to Form
The idea that Carol Folt was almost Dartmouth’s President still makes many people shudder. Good for UNC for taking her off our hands. That said, the Tar Heels, at least the thinking kind, can’t be very happy to see that her usual reflexes of devious manipulativeness have lost none of their sharpness as she handles the fake-courses-for-athletes scandal that has been perturbing UNC for seven years now. The below excerpt is from an editorial in the News & Observer, the North Carolina paper that has not forgotten that an investigative press exists to keep institutions honest:
If the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had admitted its mistakes about its academic-athletics problem early on and taken strong action, it would all be over now.
Instead, the university, in its latest response to the NCAA governing body that is considering sanctions on the athletics program, claims the NCAA’s jurisdiction over the matter doesn’t exist and the statute of limitations has run out on accusations against a faculty leader accused of unethical conduct. It even disputes the findings of Kenneth Wainstein, a high-powered and high-priced Washington attorney who was hired to get to the bottom of the problems. He found that phony classes created by two people, Deborah Crowder and Julius Nyang’oro (a dean), in African Studies had begun in 1993 and continued until 2011.
That was when The News & Observer obtained a football player’s transcript that showed a high grade for an African Studies summer class he was taking before his freshman year began. That led to five years of reporting on phony classes, generous grades for athletes who needed them to maintain eligibility and relentless obfuscation by university officials who treated the scandal more as a public relations problem than anything else.
UNC-CH also disputes Wainstein’s findings that roughly half of the enrollments in African Studies classes often required only a paper, and didn’t meet in person. The university says the percentage is 37.2 percent. The university isn’t counting athletes who stopped playing in the middle of their courses, or who kept taking courses after their athletic eligibility expired.
The Wainstein investigation was done to get the problems out in the open with an unbiased view from a respected attorney. Now it appears, facing possible NCAA penalties, that UNC-CH is thumbing its nose at the NCAA, claiming the classes aren’t its business and noting that Crowder has said the classes she helped create, where grades were high and expectations of students were low, were designed to help all students, not just athletes. The university seems to be endorsing her view completely because it is convenient for UNC officials to do so.
Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham wouldn’t say what UNC-CH will do if the NCAA gives strong sanctions or penalties. He said the university will not sanction itself.
This is all profoundly disappointing. Someone in leadership in Chapel Hill has apparently decided that defiance and denial are the right strategies to employ. They are not. UNC-Chapel Hill is a public institution responsible to the people of North Carolina. University leaders, including Chancellor Carol Folt, seem to think they work for a private corporation. They could have put the crisis to rest with forthright, open responses to accusations. Instead, they’ve hidden behind lawyers and chosen secret legal strategy over candor and an open dialogue with the public. [Emphasis added]
Carol learned her trade at the knee of Jim Wright.
Addendum: If you haven’t been following the ongoing UNC scandal, this 2:27 News & Observer video will get you up to speed:
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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