Wainstein Report On UNC Scandal Goes Before Accrediting Agency

Nov 4, 2014

A regional accrediting agency is reviewing new evidence showing that more than 3,000 UNC-Chapel Hill students were enrolled in now-show classes over two decades.
Credit Malate269 / Wikimedia Commons

A regional accrediting agency is launching another probe into UNC-Chapel Hill's academic fraud scandal.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is reviewing the findings of the independent Wainstein Report. That document showed that more than 3,000 students were enrolled in no-show classes and bogus independent studies.

SACSCOC closely monitored UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012, after the first evidence of an academic scandal surfaced.

SACSCOC President Belle Wheelan says the school demonstrated compliance at the time of that review, so the association did not take punitive action.

But the Wainstein Report shows more extensive fraud, ranging nearly two decades. Wheelan says if they find evidence that UNC-Chapel Hill is out of compliance, they'll send a letter this week.

"We read the report, find out if there's anything in it that indicates they're out of compliance with any of our principles. We would send a letter to the chancellor saying, 'We think this shows that you're out of compliance. Please show us that you're in compliance.' They will send us a response back, and based on that response, the board would take action."

That could mean nothing happens. Or SACSCOC could issue a warning, probation status, or pull accreditation.

An e-mail from a UNC spokeswoman read, “The University is working closely with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges and has provided the association with a copy of Mr. Wainstein’s report.”

SACSCOC President Belle Wheelan says the board will likely make a decision about UNC compliance in June, though action could come sooner.