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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC's accreditation response made public

In November, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges informed the University it may be out of compliance with 18 standards. The University replied on Jan. 12.

“We’ve tried to provide as much transparency as we can, and we’ve worked very hard to make sure that it’s as accessible as possible. And that process is still ongoing,” said Rick White, associate vice chancellor for communications and public affairs.

According to the response, the University is monitoring faculty behavior and has taken steps to ensure that all faculty members act with integrity.

The University assured the accrediting agency that the curriculum of the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies has been reformed since 2011.

The agency asked the University to “define and provide current policies and practices related to academic freedom.” In response, the University linked to the UNC system’s definition of academic freedom.

The SACSCOC visited the University in early April 2013 in response to reports of the athletic-academic scandal. The Wainstein report was sent to the agency when its findings were released in Oct. 2014.

“When information comes to us in an unsolicited fashion, like in a newspaper article, we always check it against our principles to see if there’s anything to suggest that the institution may be actually out of compliance with our principles,” said Belle Wheelan, president of SACSCOC.

“That’s what happened.”

White said it’s common for the agency to ask very detailed questions. He said people from across campus contributed to the response, which was coordinated by Lynn Williford, assistant provost for institutional research and assessment.

“We’ve given them answers that we believe fully and completely answer their questions,” White said.

The SACSCOC will review the University’s response in June and decide if it is compliant. If the University is out of compliance, it could be given a warning and asked for a follow-up report, put on probation and receive another visit or be dropped from membership.

Though the response was published as a 223-page PDF document Tuesday, a web version and more than 400 supporting documents will be released today.

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