A year and a half is a long time to wait for most things, but especially something that the state of North Carolina requires be given to you quickly.
On Thursday, the University finally complied with a public records request I made in the fall of 2011 — a whopping 514 days after submission.
A lot has changed in 17 months. Most importantly, the records I sought have become — not surprisingly — largely useless.
On Nov. 7, 2011, prompted by widespread speculation about the role of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies and its chairman in the athletic controversy of the day, I requested grade distributions for all classes in the department for the previous five years.
The request is a relic, a demonstration of just how little we knew then about what would months later be called one of the worst academic scandals in the University’s history. I knew nothing of the fake classes or forged grade rolls detailed in UNC’s own report on the department released six months later.