2014 Independent Inquiry and Resources

Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Kenneth L. Wainstein’s investigation will be the University’s final investigation into past academic irregularities and it builds on the previous efforts and reviews outlined here. We are confident that with Mr. Wainstein’s thorough investigation we now have a comprehensive understanding of what happened at the University. The Wainstein report yields additional guidance to correct past mistakes and implement new reforms to strengthen our University.


In response to two public records requests, the University has released 214,550 pages from 91,383 emails and electronic documents gathered during the independent investigation of academic irregularities led by Kenneth Wainstein.

I’m Tom Ross, President of the University of North Carolina. And I want to begin by thanking each of you for being here today. I also want to thank you for your patience these past several months as we all waited for today to arrive.

The University’s point of view on taking responsibility, why this investigation was different, reforms and the future.

On October 22nd, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill today announced the results of an independent investigation conducted by former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein into past academic irregularities at Carolina and took immediate action to address the findings.

These relevant documents were used in Kenneth Wainstein’s Investigation of Irregular Classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

These documents are referenced in the footnotes of Kenneth Wainstein’s Investigation of Irregular Classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

President Tom Ross and Chancellor Carol L. Folt asked former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Kenneth L. Wainstein to conduct an independent inquiry into past academic irregularities.

Internal Inquiries & Reviews

The University has completed four internal reviews or reports producing more than 70 recommendations, many of which have been implemented. These recommendations were later validated by outside experts as what is required to prevent the irregularities from reoccurring. The four reviews focused on irregularly taught courses in the department that has since been renamed African, African American and Diaspora Studies; independent study practices in the College of Arts and Sciences; a Faculty Executive Committee assessment of the University’s response to issues; and an examination of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes.

They are:


The FEC examined existing reports and recommendations focused on academic irregularities and academic misconduct, identified questions or gaps in knowledge to be addressed, and created a plan for next steps to help ensure the integrity of academic offerings and academic standards.

A thorough review was conducted of all courses in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, ranging from summer 2007 through summer 2011.

A review of then-current University policies concerning independent study courses, as well as existing protocols related to enrollment and assignment of faculty to independent studies courses.

Recommendations were made to align University’s responsibility and obligations to provide access to high quality academic support services to student-athletes.

Outside, Independent Reviews

Among the many reports and reviews that have been conducted, some were undertaken by third parties including former N.C. Gov. Jim Martin and consulting firm, Baker Tilly. These external reviews provided an objective outside perspective related to the issues found in our own internal reports, and additional guidance to correct past mistakes and implement new reforms that have strengthened our University.

They are:


A five-member Board of Governors Academic Review Panel was commissioned by UNC President Tom Ross in July 2012 to review the University’s response to the academic irregularities.

This clarification relates to the references to the Faculty Athletic Committee (FAC) that were made in the December 19, 2012 Martin Report.

Then-Chancellor Holden Thorp asked former N.C. Gov. James Martin to explore, with no restrictions, any issues raised by the University’s review of courses offered in the then-Department of African and Afro-American Studies.

Then-Chancellor Holden Thorp and the Board of Trustees also retained Baker Tilly to assess the numerous new policies, procedures and controls the University implemented to strengthen academic practices in the then-Department of African and Afro-American Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Summer School. The review found no gaps in the implementation of the new policies and procedures.

Additional Information


UNC-Chapel Hill has responded to a request by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for information about the University’s compliance with accreditation standards. The University is accredited and in good standing with SACSCOC.

Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities (AAU), chaired the panel of distinguished national leaders in higher education and athletics; it made recommendations about the role of athletics in campus life.

The committee was appointed to examine all relevant aspects of the University’s intercollegiate athletics program, report to the faculty any variances with the University’s purposes and standards of conduct, and make recommendations for action by the faculty and the administration.