The Daily Tar Heel

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Saturday September 18th

2 fired, 4 cleared in Wainstein review

By January, three of those employees had left the University: former faculty chairperson and ethics professor Jan Boxill; Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies lecturer Tim McMillan; and football academic counselor Jaimie Lee.

Thursday, more than a year after the Wainstein report, UNC fired two more employees for their involvement in the academic-athletic scandal.

Brent Blanton, associate director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes, and Travis Gore, administrative assistant in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, are no longer employed as of Thursday, according to a letter posted by the University.

The letter also ended the disciplinary processes of the other four in Folt’s nine.

The University cleared Associate Director of Athletics Corey Holliday, Swahili lecturer Alphonse Mutima and Arts and Sciences Foundation official André Williams of all wrongdoing, the letter said.

Dramatic art professor and former senior associate dean for undergraduate education Bobbi Owen will not be allowed to hold any administrative positions, the letter said, but she has been cleared of any other wrongdoing.

‘Public accusations’

Owen is the only person with tenure in the group of nine.

The letter addressed to Owen is signed by Provost Jim Dean and Felicia Washington, vice chancellor for workforce strategy, equity and engagement.

Dean and Washington found no clear evidence demonstrating that “(Owen) acted improperly or that (Owen) knew that (former administrative assistant) Deborah Crowder was grading papers.”

Crowder and former department chairperson Julius Nyang’oro ran a decades-long paper class scheme in the former Department of African and Afro-American Studies.

The letter said Owen responded several times to Nyang’oro’s inappropriate behavior — but based on his pattern of violations, Dean and Washington said Owen “would have been prudent” to report him.

“This level of responsibility is expected from someone in a position of responsibility such as you had during the relevant period,” the letter said.

In a statement released through her lawyer Thursday, Owen said she knew she would be vindicated.

“The Wainstein report was wrong about me. However, because it was regarded when released as factual, terrible public accusations were made about me that were completely unfounded,” Owen said.

“Today, that error has (finally) been acknowledged.”

University spokesperson Jim Gregory said Kenneth Wainstein made it clear the report was not intended to be a personnel review.

“The Wainstein report was designed to provide us with a thorough understanding of what took place and that’s what it did and we stand by that,” he said.

Owen was not in her office Thursday. She shares the office with dramatic art professor Jade Bettin, who said Owen is on sabbatical this semester.

The other five employees could not be reached by phone and email.

Two departures

Blanton will receive 90 days’ pay in lieu of 90 days’ advance notice of the end of his employment, according to a letter addressed to him. The letter did not describe why his job was ending.

Gore’s letter said a review of his emails “raised serious concerns about (his) integrity and judgment.”

The letter said Gore gave a faculty video to students “secretly and deceptively” and “violated University policy and federal FERPA regulations by inappropriately providing student information to an unauthorized person.”


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