Senator calls for criminal probe, trustees to resign at UNC CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — In a sharply worded column that appeared online Tuesday, Republican State Sen. Thom Goolsby called for a criminal probe of the academic scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the resignation of Board of Trustees.
Want to know what the problem is with college athletics? This picture says it all: my undergraduate university pays its head basketball coach $1.95 million a year while glorifying him as if he was our savior.
As the state morns his passing, I wonder what former UNC system president Bill Friday, himself an NC State graduate and Technician sports editor, would have to say about this picture?
I think I know. As he told WRAL in March, “This tells you something about exaggeration and the influence of money and other things in college sports. It’s when the large sums of money came on the scene that distortion started, and money began to dominate… a manifestation of how far we have strayed.”
For the first time in almost two years a demonstration of leadership is emerging from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Carolina chancellor Holden Thorp took the bold, courageous and only step by resigning from his position effective at the conclusion of the current academic year. In the end, it was only Thorp who stuck his head above the fog that had descended upon and plagued all levels of UNC leadership – everyone from Thorp to Carolina trustees, UNC system president Tom Ross and the UNC Board of Governors. The fog is so thick, in May of this year Ross proclaimed the “situation” resolved. No one could look beyond their Carolina pride (21 of out of 32 voting BOG members are UNC alumni); make the necessary and tough decisions; the leadership failure is shared by all. Thorp’s decision is the appropriate one. He now understands the penalty of leadership.
The vacuum of leadership was deafening and destructive, not only to Carolina but to the entire UNC system. Ross, trustees and the BOG can regain the public’s trust by conducting an open and more transparent search for Thorp’s replacement. Bring the finalists to campus. Allow them to share their vision with the campus. Gain valuable community feedback.
The UNC system is no stranger to open chancellor searches. Appalachian State University chose their current chancellor in an open search. He and other finalists made public visits to campus, interacting and speaking with various university constituencies. Paul Gates, former ASU faculty chair and member of the search committee told The News and Observer in 2004 that, “It went off without a hitch. It gave us a second look at the candidates and how they interacted with each group. If they’re on thin ice at home, we don’t want them here.”
There’s a new scandal brewing at UNC Chapel Hill. As a part of their investigative reporting, the News and Observer has requested internal documents from the university’s dental foundation. The university has claimed the documents are not public records because the foundation is a “separate” not for profit organization.
One factor that brought all this to The N&O’s attention was an audit of the foundation helping the dental school, an audit that led to the resignation of the head of that foundation, who had been Tami Hansbrough’s boss. The N&O has been trying to obtain a copy of the dental foundation audit and related expense records, but has been told by foundation officials that those things are not public records. If they’re connected to a public university’s dental school and its fundraising, then they are public records and university and foundation officials only deepen suspicions when they try to claim otherwise. Thorp should support the release of the records immediately.
UNC chancellor Holden Thorp’s claims that the foundation is separate from the university are laughable. Try giving money to the foundation online, you’re redirected the university’s development site. The foundation appears to be staffed by UNC employees, with @unc email addresses. Just take a look below at this screen shot of the dental foundation’s website… which just so happens to be located on a university url: https://www.dentistry.unc.edu/foundation/
The foundation staff are even listed in the UNC Staff Directory.
It’s quite clear that the UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry’s Dental Foundation is very much a part of NC’s public university and thus subject to public scrutiny and transparency. For some time now I have called on UNC President Tom Ross to make a leadership change at Carolina, and could not agree more with The N&O’s editorial conclusion, “With a scandal in the football program that resulted in a coach’s dismissal and fraud investigations involving the African studies curriculum, Thorp should now understand the necessity of public disclosure and candor.”
A source close to the University of North Carolina system indicates that some members of the Board of Governors are working to remove Holden Thorp as chancellor of the Chapel Hill campus. The members intend to make a formal motion at the Board’s next gathering if UNC President Tom Ross fails to dismiss Thorp by the September meeting.
When asked why, the source simply said, “The university is the laughing-stock of the nation and the damage is spreading to the entire system. The only solution is transparency and a leadership change.”
Honest NC will provide further details as they become available.
The University of Virginia is in a tail spin. The campus’s governing authority, the Board of Visitors, ousted the University’s popular president, Teresa Sullivan.
The board announced the president’s resignation June 10, citing a desire to move more quickly on several areas of reform. The board voted on an interim president; he was scheduled to take over August 16.
Friday, the interim president cited the groundswell of support for Teresa Sullivan’s reinstatement as the motivation for the decision to suspend preparations to lead the University. On Thursday, deans and other University leaders unanimously called for Sullivan’s reinstatement. Afterward, the board announced a meeting Tuesday to resolve the issue.
In a letter, Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell writes: “But let me be absolutely clear: I want final action by the Board on Tuesday. If you fail to do so, I will ask for the resignation of the entire Board on Wednesday. Regardless of your decision, I expect you to make a clear, detailed and unified statement on the future leadership of the University.”
Now that’s leadership. Perhaps it will spread southward to North Carolina and solve the ongoing athletic-academic crisis at UNC Chapel Hill?
Since 1980, average tuition for a 4-year college education has increased an astounding 827%. Since 1999, average student loan debt has increased by a shameful 511%.
In 2010, total outstanding student loan debt exceeded total outstanding credit card debt in America for the first time ever. In 2012, total outstanding student loan debt is expected to exceed $1 Trillion.
Representative Hansen Clarke of Michigan (right) has just introduced H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, in the House of Representatives – legislation designed to lend a helping hand to those struggling under massive amounts of student loan debt. The key objectives of the Student Loan Forgiveness Act are: