Thursday, January 9, 2014

Academic Scandal with Years of Grade Changes & No-Show Classes

Hit with an indictment for academic fraud, a former University of North Carolina (UNC) professor is under fire for leading a department with a history of forged faculty signatures, unwarranted grade changes, and overly lenient class structure ("A’s for Athletes, but Charges of Fraud at North Carolina," The New York Times, December 31, 2013).

Although Dr. Julius Nyang’oro left his position in 2012, he is accused of accepting $12,000 for a course he never taught. That course, AFAM 280 in the department of African and Afro-American studies, was filled with North Carolina football team members. A former governor of North Carolina led an investigation into the department, discovering "problems with dozens of courses" going back as far as 1997 including what appears to be over 500 "unauthorized grade changes."

Discussion Questions:
  1. Although these irregularities only involved one department at UNC, how do you think the reputation of the entire school will be affected?
  2. Would you accept a grade for a class that never actually met? Why or why not?
  3. Why would a once-respected educator at a noted university allow his department to become so corrupted?
  4. Why did this apparent lack of academic integrity persist for so many years?

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