Thursday, January 23, 2014

Carolina Accepts Responsibility for Academic Fraud In African-American Studies Dept.

In the African and Afro-American Studies Department, there were 200 lecture-style classes dating back to the mid-1990s that showed little or no evidence of any instruction. Investigations also found that roughly 500 grade changes were suspected or confirmed to be unauthorized.
University officials have placed the blame on the former department chairman, Julius Nyang’oro, and a department secretary, both of whom left the university. Nyang’oro has been indicted on criminal charges of obtaining property by false pretenses.
She called the academic fraud “a betrayal” of students but said the university has already taken many steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The ABC crowd likes to pretend that the university should have known about this...  I suppose that's possible...but in my experience, universities usually don't have any reason to think that they have to keep an eye on departments. There's an extraordinary amount of autonomy because professors are presumed to be professionals that don't have to be monitored. 


Anonymous Jimmy Doyle said...

The basketball team's defeats (subject of some of your recent posts) may actually be circumstantial evidence for UNC not being at all alone in this sort of malfeasance (claim of the others of your recent posts). Or does the timing rule that out?

9:55 PM  
Blogger Aa said...

The thing is they do keep an eye on departments. For the past twenty years the faculty senate at my institution publishes GPA breakdowns by department and college. And these numbers are looked at. Why is the college of Education's GPA so high? Why has the natural and applied science average GPA gone from 2.75 (for example) 15 years ago to 2.93 today? Grade inflation? Higher entrance requirements? And these numbers are reported to administration...they help us generate the reports.

Etc, etc, etc. Pay attention to administration and it's _all_ a number's game. That's one reason I have no respect for's a number's game and education is simply a way to generate the numbers they use to justify their existence.

Unless Carolina's administrators are totally dropping the ball (no pun intended)and are completely clueless (possible) they crunch the numbers.

And when a department or professors numbers are too different from the norm questions are asked (at least where I teach and most of my friends say the same thing at their institutions).

9:55 AM  

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