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Board of Governors investigates academic fraud at UNC

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CHAPEL HILL-- The UNC Board of Governors announced they're launching a new investigation into the academic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill.

This review comes after an internal investigation at UNC revealed evidence of forged professor signatures and unauthorized grade changes in the African and Afro-American Studies program.

"It is outrageous and unacceptable," said UNC System President Tom Ross, as he reviewed the problems at the Board of Governor's committee meeting on Thursday.

Only a few months after the NCAA handed down penalties to UNC for academic misconduct and other violations. With the college's scholastic reputation is on the line again, the Board of Governors is stepping in.

"Nothing short of deplorable and it is contrary to everything that this university stands for," said Ross.

Findings from UNC show problems occurred in 54 courses over a period of five summers and four academic years. The investigation began when word got out former UNC football player Michael McAdoo, who now plays for the Baltimore Ravens, plagiarized in a class.

Ross pointed out the findings show some courses did not include any athletes, while others did.

"One particularly troubling course that was offered in the summer of 2011 and which has received significant press attention was composed almost entirely of football players," said Ross.

To prevent a similar situation, the two professors linked to the problems are no longer at the college.

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp also asked the former department head Julius Nyang'oro to repay the university $12,000 for teaching a course and an independent study rather than a lecture.

"This is difficult and painful for us all but I am determined to get to the end of and we have done a lot to correct these problems over the last two years," said Thorp.

Now a four-member panel will review UNC's findings to see if further action needs to be taken.

Ross also talked with chancellors at the other colleges in the system.

"And have urged them to take prudent steps in order to avoid similar circumstances at other institutions," said Ross.

Thorp supports their efforts and wants to make sure all classes are taught at the highest standard.

"We're putting a lot of strong controls in to make sure if anything like this happens again, we would catch it."

The SBI is also looking into whether there were any criminal violations involved in the academic fraud at UNC.

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