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The Daily Tar Heel

Provost: Monitoring report sent to accrediting agency that visited last week

The report was posted online more than a month later, on April 15.

Provost Jim Dean said the monitoring report was sent to the commission in preparation for a visit last week from the SACSCOC committee in charge of the University’s case.

“When the team came to visit last week, then they asked us follow-up questions based on any issues they had originally or that came out of the report that we sent,” Dean said.

SACSCOC told UNC in a June 2015 letter they needed more information about the seven accreditation bylaws the agency felt had not been properly addressed in UNC’s response. UNC was placed on a one-year probation in summer 2015 by the agency for the academic fraud revealed by the Wainstein report.

According to the monitoring report, the seven concerns SACSCOC have are integrity, program content, control of intercollegiate athletics, academic support services, academic freedom, faculty role in governance and how UNC is handling its Title IV program responsibilities.

If UNC lost accreditation after this probationary period, it would no longer be able to receive federal funding and grants. The accrediting agency’s board of trustees will vote on the University’s case in June.

Todd Nicolet, interim chief integrity and policy officer, said the report is an extensive response to the SACSCOC letter. Nicolet said the report was written to answer questions and provide as much evidence as possible to help the commission understand what UNC has been doing to combat the institutional issues SACSCOC thought needed improvement.

Nicolet said his role as the interim chief integrity and policy officer concerns deciding what the job of the permanent officer will be long-term and how he can use the role in the interim to help lay the foundation for the person who takes the job permanently.

“That’s sort of the bigger vision — is that we create a foundation of policy management so people have a strong understanding of what are the rules that guide our behavior, that’s just what policies are,” he said. “And then sort of an ethics awareness promotion education aspect, which helps people understand how you can apply those rules more effectively.”

The monitoring report identifies Nicolet’s position as evidence the University is working to improve its integrity following the academic-athletic scandal.

Dean said UNC is doing everything within its power to address any concerns that SACSCOC would have had.

“(SACSCOC’s June) letter says effectively it looks like you’ve done an awful lot — we just want to come back and verify that all this stuff is making a difference,” he said.

Belle Wheelan, president of the accrediting agency, said in an email the board will act upon the recommendation of the visiting committee in regards to UNC’s status.

Faculty Chairperson Bruce Cairns said the findings of the monitoring report are a living philosophy the University has to continue to revisit and adhere to.

“We have to make sure the system is working the way it should be,” Cairns said.

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