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Friday June 2nd

UNC responds to accrediting agency

The University submitted its 223-page response on Monday.

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The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges decided to review the University’s accreditation after receiving a copy of the $3.1 million Wainstein investigation.

The agency questioned the integrity of the University and listed 17 other possible policy violations in its letter to Chancellor Carol Folt.

“Since the time of the commission’s Special Committee review April 2-4, 2013, the institution has undergone a more extensive and thorough collection and review of documents, leading the commission to conclude that UNC-Chapel Hill was not diligent in providing information to the committee during the review,” the integrity subsection of the letter read.

The University’s response included areas of concern such as “control of college athletics” and “faculty role in governance.” The University will release the letter to the public after the accrediting agency has a chance to read through it, and the University redacts personnel information from the letter, said Rick White, associate vice chancellor for communications and public affairs.

White said in an email that Lynn Williford, assistant provost for institutional research and assessment, was in charge of overseeing the response.

“Individuals from across campus drafted various parts of the response,” White said.

In November, Belle Wheelan, the president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, said UNC’s case was the biggest example of academic fraud she had seen in her 10 years at the agency.

When asked what she was looking for in UNC’s response, Wheelan reiterated her November letter.

“(We’re) looking for them to demonstrate that they are in compliance with our standards,” Wheelan said in an interview Monday.

Wheelan said her board will make its decision at its regularly scheduled June meeting. The decision will be based off of UNC’s response and recommendations from her staff.

“The University has the utmost confidence in its academic programs and their integrity,” White said.


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