SPECIAL PROJECTS AND INVESTIGATIONS


12/3/2019 3:00pm

Confederate heritage supporters rallied in McCorkle Place to defend the statue of Silent Sam in 2015. Confederacy-related controversy has plagued UNC since, the latest of which came last week when the UNC System and Board of Governors settled a lawsuit with the Sons of Confederate Veterans under controversial circumstances.

'Victory': Confederates tout backdoor dealings of $2.5 million Silent Sam settlement

In an email recently leaked by one of its recipients, Kevin Stone, leader of the N.C. Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Inc., detailed secret negotiations with UNC Board of Governors members that led to a "major strategic victory" for the pro-Confederate movement. Stone sent the email on the same day that the group filed and immediately settled a lawsuit against the UNC system and the board. That settlement won the Confederate group legal ownership of Silent Sam and $2.5 million in UNC system money, some of which may go towards a new headquarters for the group.


11/26/2019 12:38am

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Waitlists and frustrations grow as UNC's computer science department tries to keep up

Student participation in the computer science department at UNC has skyrocketed over the last decade, but issues have emerged from the department's inability to accommodate its newfound demand. While the number of declared or intended computer science majors has increased by more than tenfold since fall 2009, the department's faculty total has risen only 8.2 percent over the same time period.  While the University recently extended a hint of incoming relief, the expectation remains that class cuts, reduced enrollment availability and other restrictive measures will make life increasingly difficult for computer science majors.


11/19/2019 2:51am

The Old Well, a popular UNC monument, pictured on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. 

'Blistering': UNC faces fines after federal safety, crime reporting violations

Nearly seven years after its investigation began, the U.S. Department of Education stated in a final program review report that UNC acted in violation of federal laws on campus safety and crime information throughout the department's review period while demonstrating a lack of administrative capability that “remains a matter of serious concern for the department.” Clery Act expert S. Daniel Carter told The Daily Tar Heel that the University is "certainly looking at six figures" in federal fines, and he called the department's description of UNC's administrative issues “one of the most blistering I’ve read in many years."


11/3/2019 10:21pm

A pro-Confederate protester shakes hands with UNC Police officer Timothy Tickle after Tickle explained to protesters the boundaries of UNC's campus on March, 16, 2019.The pro-Confederate group then left campus. Photo courtesy of Daniel Hosterman.

Months after controversy fueled its formation, UNC's safety commission faces questions

Campus Safety Commission meetings have been in session over the last two months to give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to discuss their concerns with being safe on campus. Since it convened it April, there have been 13 listening sessions with some being geared toward specific communities on campus.  But while the premise of bringing together stakeholders from the University together seems like a step in the right direction, some have said the goal is undermined by poor publicity and attendance. 


10/23/2019 12:07am

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New records show years of UNC's animal research violations, but others go unreported

The Daily Tar Heel obtained through a federal public record request 40 separate reports of lab-animal welfare violations at UNC over the last four and a half years. The records document numerous University research incidents that violated federal guidelines or institutional protocols, including a pig's death caused by human error, confusion among researchers that led to 11 mice starving to death and a biology class that for years had students perform undisclosed experiments on various animals without proper approval or adequate training.  While the records are expansive, further reporting by the DTH found other violations have occurred at UNC in recent years that have not been documented by the appropriate federal agencies, raising questions as to the frequency of animal welfare violations that have remained under wraps.


10/17/2019 3:45am

A SpotterEDU device sits at the front of the room in Hanes 117 as a student writes on the blackboard underneath on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2019.

How UNC got the tech to track men's basketball, football players' class attendance

Emails and financial agreements received by the DTH through multiple public records requests reveal details of the lead-up to and implementation at UNC of SpotterEDU. The technology, developed and operated by a Chicago-based consulting firm, tracks the class attendance of student-athletes through beacon devices with an automatic Bluetooth connection to their smartphones.  Early last month, the DTH reported the existence of the new program at UNC. While the University declined at the time to state which sports it is using the new technology for, new documents suggest that SpotterEDU has been applied only to select players from the football and men's basketball teams.


10/8/2019 8:13pm

Patrick Conway mugshot; June 22, 2019 – photo courtesy of Randolph County Sheriff’s Office 

Ousted Blue Cross CEO still eligible to treat UNC Hospitals children after charges

Details emerged publicly last month regarding the arrest of Patrick Conway this past summer, when he drunkenly crashed his vehicle into a tractor trailer while his two young daughters were in the backseat. Conway, who was CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at the time, stepped down at the urging of the his company's trustees amid the public backlash. However, the incident hasn't cost Conway all opportunities in the health industry. Despite his currently-pending charges, which include DWI and misdemeanor child abuse, Conway still "has privileges and works occasional shifts" at UNC Hospitals' N.C. Children's Hospital, and it's unclear if his pediatrician privileges will face any impact from the arrest.


10/6/2019 10:08pm

DTH Photo Illustration. UNC’s oldest co-ed business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi was suspended this summer by their national board after the chapter was found to have violated the alcohol and hazing sections of the fraternity charter. 

Here's what you need to know about the aftermath of the AKPsi suspension

A five-year suspension of UNC’s chapter of the co-ed business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi came earlier this year after violations related to alcohol, hazing and disruption of an investigation by the chapter’s national body. But a new business organization named Scale and Coin has been born at UNC in the months since, drawing resources from Duke University.  At its helm are some former AKPsi members, and students who were in the process of joining the UNC chapter at the time it was suspended.


10/2/2019 9:55pm

Scott Reece, 45, helps his wife, Nunny Reece, 41, who has stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, tie her shoes on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. Nunny Reece and her husband frequent UNC Hospital often and face additional challenges due to parking costs, which typically are up to $10 a day. On this day, Reece had a parking permit due to her receiving radiation treatment all week. 

'It broke us' : Parking fees strain cancer patients while building revenue for UNC

Most long-term patients, such as those with cancer, pay the same amount for parking at UNC Hospitals as every other visitor throughout the state. Some are exasperated over the additional toll those parking fees add to their week-by-week treatment schedules.  While alternative options have been created for a few specific circumstances, many patients don’t qualify and have seen parking expenses pile up. Meanwhile, the University generated $3.7 million in revenue last year through its Dogwood Parking Deck, one of two primary parking areas for UNC Hospitals patients and visitors.


9/12/2019 9:58pm

hurricane florence flooding

A year later, North Carolina is still recovering from Hurricane Florence

“Many families will feel the effects of this disaster long after the storm has passed, and we will continue to support them in any way possible in the weeks and months ahead." A year after Hurricane Florence touched down in the Carolinas, leaving record-breaking flooding and massive displacements in its wake, some damages have still not been resolved. The Chapel Hill area experienced significant and unexpected rain, causing short-term flooding and long-term ramifications, such as property loss and water damage. While repair efforts are still ongoing, the state recognizes that they must also sink resources into preparing residents in at-risk areas for future weather emergencies.