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The Daily Tar Heel

Dean of College of Arts and Sciences to step down

Karen Gil, who has been dean since 2009, will step down in May.

The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will step down at the end of the academic year.

Karen Gil, who has been dean since July 2009, will continue teaching in the psychology department, according to a statement from UNC News.

"There is never a best time to leave a job that you love," Gil wrote in an email to College of Arts and Sciences faculty that was partially printed in the UNC News statement. 

Gil's decision to step down comes as the University continues to digest the contents of the Wainstein report, which uncovered nearly 20 years of academic misconduct in the former Department of African and Afro-American Studies.

Gil was mentioned in the Wainstein report but never seriously implicated. She was the dean of the college of the former African and Afro-American studies department, but the report said she had no knowledge of the paper class scheme created by secretary Deborah Crowder and chairman Julius Nyang'oro until a meeting after the summer session of 2011.

"We interviewed current Dean Karen Gil (2009 – present) and Holden Thorp (2007-2008) about their knowledge of the paper class scheme and found nothing to suggest that either of these deans or their predecessors were aware of the irregularities within AFAM," the report said.

Gil did call for Nyang'oro's resignation as chairman after a meeting between the former chairman and Jonathan Hartlyn, the current senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs, where the paper classes were revealed to Gil.

The report says Gil then began an internal review, which was conducted by Hartlyn and William Andrews, the current senior associate dean of fine arts and humanities, in 2011.

In the statement from UNC News, Gil said she's leaving to make room for new leadership in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

"There is much to do as we prepare to embark on the next capital campaign," Gil said in the statement. "Also, there is critical work ahead to build on the important reforms we have already put in place."

In the statement, Chancellor Carol Folt lauded Gil's work at the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Passionately championing the special role that undergraduate education and research plays in the vitality of the University, she strengthened connections with our schools and units, while also fostering national and international partnerships," Folt said. 

Provost Jim Dean will announce the University's plans to identify Gil's replacement at a later date.

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