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The Daily Tar Heel

Wainstein investigation costs the University $3.1 million

Kenneth Wainstein's eight-month-long investigation into academic impropriety at the University racked up a $3.1 million bill. 

The exact total came to $3,111,385.17, which included $115,775.42 for expenses, a $60,000 discount and an additional $68,662.50 fee write-off from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. 

“Chancellor Folt and President Ross believe Mr. Wainstein and his firm conducted the most thorough and complete investigation possible into past academic irregularities at UNC-Chapel Hill," Rick White, associate vice chancellor for communications and public affairs said in a statement. 

"We remain focused on building upon the significant academic reforms the University already has implemented.”

Wainstein's hourly fee was $990 and the three members of his team — Joseph Jay, Colleen Kukowski and Katherine Preston — received $775, $535 and $450 respectively. In total, Wainstein and his team worked 4,905.31 hours on the investigation.

The report found that 3,100 students took paper classes in the former Department of African and Afro-American Studies. The bogus classes were designed to help student-athletes maintain eligibility and graduate. Following the report, Chancellor Carol Folt promised that nine employees would face disciplinary action for their involvement in the scandal. 

In response to the findings in the report, the University's accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, announced it would review the University's accreditation. 

In a letter sent to the University on Wednesday, the agency asked UNC to send information about the reasons for possible violations of 18 policies that were unearthed in the Wainstein report.

The letter named institutional integrity, admission policies, faculty role in governance and control of intercollegiate athletics, among others, as areas of where UNC did not comply with the standards of the commission.

"The institution is requested to provide information demonstrating how the Chancellor of UNC at Chapel Hill has responsibility for and exercises appropriate administrative and fiscal control over the institution's intercollegiate athletic programs. The administrative control includes accountability for the application of academic standards for athletes," the letter states.

The institutional integrity clause said universities should operate with integrity in all matters — something the letter claims UNC did not do when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges special committee reviewed the school's academics in 2013.

"It appears that the institution may have had information that was not shared during the course of the Commission's Special Committee review," the letter says. "In at least two instances, people were interviewed by the Special Committee appear to have had some prior concerns and/or knowledge of abnormal activity occurring in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies ... that was not revealed or discussed with the Special Committee." 

The University will have until Jan. 7 to respond to the agency's request for a more detailed report. It has maintained that it has been cooperative with the agency. 

"UNC-Chapel Hill will continue to cooperate fully and completely with SACSCOC in this new review process and will thoroughly respond to the issues identified in SACSCOC’s letter, per their request, by January 7, 2015," the University's website says. 

"The University is accredited and in good standing with SACSCOC."

In an interview with The Daily Tar Heel on Nov. 4, Belle Wheelan, the president of the accrediting agency, said she had never seen a similar case.

“This is the biggest case of academic fraud we’ve had in the 10 years I’ve been there,” she said.

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