A guide to review, response and reform at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Our Commitment: Taking Action and Moving Forward Together

Actions & Initiatives

Multiple internal and external investigations and reviews have generated comprehensive recommendations for the University, the Summer School, the College of Arts and Sciences, the department now known as African, African American and Diaspora Studies and the Department of Athletics. These recommendations have led to numerous reforms, changes and new practices that have already been instituted — and more are yet to come. For the latest updates, please subscribe to our RSS feed.

While these reforms and their adoption are ongoing, some examples include:

Admissions & Preparedness

Spring 2014

Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions presents its first detailed annual report on athletics admissions to Faculty Council. (Refer to http://carolinacommitment.unc.edu/updates/admissions-report-on-enrolling-student-athletes-class-entering-2013/.)

Updated reports: 2014, 2015

Summer 2013

Office of Undergraduate Admissions begins meeting with ASPSA staff to review the academic performances of all first-year student-athletes to inform future student-athlete admissions decisions.

Spring 2013

Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions revises the charge and procedures for the Committee on Special Talent that include new thresholds for student-athletes requiring faculty review based on predicted first-year grade-point averages.

Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions, in conjunction with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Department of Athletics, appoints a working group to develop guidelines for reporting on athletics admissions.

Fall 2012

Office of Undergraduate Admissions strengthens academic assessment tools used to consider the ability of prospective student-athletes to earn a degree. University revises process for admitting student-athletes. Beyond meeting all requirements established by the University of North Carolina system, student-athletes must demonstrate that they are likely to exceed UNC-Chapel Hill’s own standards for satisfactory academic progress, which apply to all undergraduates during their first year. Any applicant who does not meet the system requirements or UNC-Chapel Hill’s higher expectations can be offered admission only after being reviewed in detail and approved by a faculty committee.

After analyzing the academic performance of previously enrolled student-athletes, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions develops a predicted first-year grade-point average which later will be used to help make admissions decisions.

Fall 2011

Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions approves written guidelines for standardized testing in admissions.

Spring 2010

Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions approves written charge and procedures for the Athletics Subcommittee (now the Committee on Special Talent). (Refer to: http://faccoun.unc.edu/committees-2/appointed-committees/undergraduate-admissions-committee/committee-on-special-talent/.)

Academic Excellence & Accountability

Spring 2016

University establishes Student-Athlete Academic Process Review Group to regularly review each of the 21 processes described by the Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group. Comprised of a broad base of University leadership, faculty and students, the Process Review Group will ensure oversight and effective monitoring of these processes.

Fall 2015

University launches Academic Processes for Student-Athletes website (www.apsa.unc.edu), which provides details of the Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group’s review and analysis of 21 comprehensive processes related to student-athletes and academics at UNC.

Fall 2013

University launches Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group to review all aspects of a student-athlete’s experience – from recruitment through graduation. The goal is to ensure that every procedure and policy helps student-athletes achieve their fullest potential – both academically and personally. (Refer to http://carolinacommitment.unc.edu/updates/update-from-provost-james-w-dean-jr-about-the-student-athlete-academic-initiative-working-group/.)

Fall 2013

Provost and Registrar redefine and summarize policies for grading and mandatory final exams, including changes to permanent letter grades, temporary grades and incomplete grades.

Administrative boards of the General College and College of Arts and Sciences approve department name change to African, African American and Diaspora Studies (AAAD) from African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM).

Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies (AAAD) adds new requirements for major and minor programs, such as the number of courses needed to fulfill the major and minor. The approval process for enrolling in independent studies courses also is tightened.

Provost requires visits to classrooms each semester to confirm classes are being held as scheduled.

Members of the Faculty Council’s Faculty Athletics Committee now participate in the review and monitoring of student-athlete enrollment patterns. These efforts include meetings with the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Faculty Athletics Representative and the Registrar. Courses with 20 percent student-athlete enrollment (25 percent in Summer School) trigger a course review.

Fall 2012

College of Arts and Sciences requires a senior associate dean to conduct an annual review of academic unit chairs based on a curriculum vitae, annual reports, teaching assignments and evaluations.

College of Arts and Sciences requires a senior associate dean to conduct a review of any academic unit chair’s reappointment every five years. Review is based on materials including teaching assignments and administrative accomplishments, as well as face-to-face meetings with the chair and consultation with unit faculty.

The Chancellor removes a previous dotted-line reporting relationship between ASPSA and the Department of Athletics.

University creates an Academic Review website to keep the campus community, constituents and the public informed about efforts to investigate and address academic irregularities first discovered in 2011 (replaced by http://carolinacommitment.unc.edu/ in spring 2014).

Spring 2012

AFAM Department (AAAD) reorganizes and adopts new administrative and governance structure that incorporates the philosophy of shared governance. It also revises the roles and responsibilities of the chair and other department-level administrators, as well as committees such as Academic Affairs, Intellectual Dialogues and Institutional Linkages, Planning and Faculty, Chair’s Liaison and Executive Committee.

Course Integrity

Action

Fall 2015

Two Faculty Athletics Committee designees participate in the process of examining student-athlete class enrollments.

Spring 2013

Registrar launches a new student records dashboard reporting system to monitor compliance with teaching credit hour policies.

Spring 2013

University activates stricter online procedures to monitor temporary grades with an electronic grade change process. The changes improve efficiency and provide an audit trail, enforce all existing grade change policies and verify that changes to grades are only made by the class instructor. Only the faculty member of record for a class may submit grade changes.

The Priority Registration Advisory Committee – which reviews student groups recommended for priority registration – stipulates that one of two faculty representatives will be a current elected member of the Faculty Council’s Educational Policy Committee. The Educational Policy Committee can recommend that courses be removed from the priority registration process if it is determined that too many priority registrants are enrolling. The Faculty Council reviews the priority registration policy every three years.

As part of the degree audit process, University limits and monitors independent study course credits that count toward graduation.

Spring 2012

Summer School enacts new policies, practices and strategies to monitor summer teaching assignments. Changes include limiting independent study sections to two students, capping the number of independent study courses a faculty member can direct during a summer session at one time, and requiring separate sections to be created for each faculty member supervising independent studies, internships, mentored research, directed readings, or similar courses.

University works with ITS to build additional and custom audit tables for ConnectCarolina that further enhanced our ability to monitor and audit transactions related to student records, particularly those involving grade entries and grade changes.

University strengthens security measures to limit when schedulers can update class information.

Fall 2012

College of Arts and Sciences adopts new independent study policies and procedures, effective spring 2013. Changes include faculty supervision limited to two students per term, required learning contracts, and monitoring course syllabi, faculty absences and grading procedures.

Faculty Council adopts guidelines for course syllabi content and collection, effective spring 2013. Syllabi must be retained for four years.

All classes with student-athlete enrollments greater than 20 percent of total class enrollment (25 percent for Summer School) are flagged by the Registrar, Faculty Athletics Representative, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education or Faculty Athletics Committee designee, with follow-up by designated academic officer.

University notifies faculty about new course syllabi guidelines and launches related audit process.

University changes standard course numbering system to more accurately reflect course type, improving the ability to distinguish independent study courses from lecture courses.

Fall 2011

University requires a dean to sign all change of grade forms.

Spring 2011

College of Arts and Sciences puts a new process in place to monitor faculty course workloads and teaching assignments.

Fall 2010

ConnectCarolina implements online class and grade roster management system as part of a new student records system, making it easier to track possible irregularities.

Summer 2009

University launches parts of ConnectCarolina, a multi-phased campus-wide initiative to replace aging software systems that manage student information, human resources, payroll and finance. One component, Campus Solutions, creates a centralized student record and tracking database that corrects inconsistent student records and grade forms procedures across the campus.

Athletics Integrity

Spring 2016

Department of Athletics refines athletic camp protocols to improve monitoring requirements for safety and risk management.

Department of Athletics implements enhanced policies and procedures regarding business and financial matters, including purchasing, receiving, transportation, budgeting and reimbursements.

Summer 2015

Department of Athletics implements a new Equipment Policy that more effectively governs issuance and retrieval of athletic equipment.

2014

Department of Athletics overhauls its summer camp manual including protocol and enhances controls over any programs bringing minors into athletic facilities.

Summer 2014

Department of Athletics enhances student-athlete employment policies and procedures to increase monitoring and verification of actual employment in collaboration with the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid. Increases documentation required from employers and educational efforts with them. These efforts place special emphasis on non-University campus and clinics.

Spring 2014

Department of Athletics revises process for employees to report outside athletics-related income to take a more comprehensive approach to the requirement.

Department of Athletics provides NCAA annual compliance report as required by the infractions case of March, 2012. Report was accepted and approved with no additional recommendations by the NCAA.

Department of Athletics hires an accounting firm to conduct an assessment of ticket operations including the sale, distribution and security of tickets, parking and credentials.

Fall 2013

Department of Athletics revises policy to require all student-athletes, regardless of scholarship status, to complete a motor vehicle registration form.

Department of Athletics revises social media policy. Each team must designate a social media monitor on a semester-by-semester basis. The monitors regularly review student-athlete social media for postings that potentially violate team or NCAA rules.

Department of Athletics requires coaches to participate in bimonthly rules education meetings.

Department of Athletics formalizes policies and procedures for complimentary game admissions, parking passes and credentials to increase accountability and improve inventory documentation.

Department of Athletics implements a new Vehicle Use Policy and training program.

Spring 2013

Department of Athletics implements “Up and Out” incident reporting guidelines to ensure compliance with federal and state reporting requirements.

As part of a campus-wide mandate, Department of Athletics implements mandatory background checks for all staff for overnight programs with minors in athletics facilities.

Department of Athletics provides NCAA annual compliance report as required by the infractions case of March, 2012. Report was accepted and approved with no additional recommendations by the NCAA.

Fall 2012

Department of Athletics implements a stronger and more comprehensive agent and advising program.

Facility use policies are created and implemented for all athletic facilities in Department of Athletics.

Spring 2012

Department of Athletics hires consulting firm to conduct an assessment of compliance systems and culture.

Athletics Excellence & Accountability

Fall 2015

University launches Academic Processes for Student-Athletes website (www.apsa.unc.edu), which provides details of the Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group’s review and analysis of 21 comprehensive processes related to student-athletes and academics at UNC.

Department of Athletics begins hosting annual joint meeting of Faculty Athletics Committee and Athletics’ Head Coaches and Administrative staff. The meeting agenda and format encourages open discussion of opportunities to support student-athlete academic progress and achievement. As a follow-up to meeting, the Faculty Athletics Committee and/or Department of Athletics assigns responsibility for post-meeting actions.

Fall 2014

The ASPSA team of professional academic support specialists who work with students to develop MAPs develops a Collaborative Support Model. This model serves as a framework that promotes collaboration among the learning specialists, academic counselors, and tutor coordinators in creating supportive and effective MAPs for each student-athlete.  The academic counselors work individually with the student-athletes to discuss their proposed academic plans, gathering feedback, making appropriate adjustments, and finalizing the MAPs.

The Provost’s Office and Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) establish regular meeting including Department of Athletics, Registrar and ASPSA to improve communication and coordination. The CARE meeting (Compliance, Academics, Registrar for Excellence) facilitates discussion between key parties regarding current national topics, NCAA rule interpretations, educational scenarios, and processes that cross over several divisions.  The meeting is chaired by the FAR.

Summer 2014

ASPSA Academic Success Workshops are developed to provide opportunities over and beyond the University’s regular orientation program for new students. The goal of the workshops is to expose entering student-athletes to fundamental skills needed for the transition from high school to college.

Spring 2014

The Inaugural Scholar-Athlete Awards Luncheon is held in April 2014.  The annual event provides an opportunity to celebrate the high academic achievements of student-athletes with faculty, staff, and fellow student-athletes.

Summer 2014

University launches Complete Carolina, an enhanced degree-completion program providing financial support, academic advising and career counseling to former student-athletes who return to complete their degrees at any time. The goal is to encourage all student-athletes to graduate and makes the process more accessible. (Refer to http://unc.edu/campus-updates/complete-carolina-strengthens-commitment-to-former-student-athletes-undergraduate-education/.)

Fall 2012

Faculty Athletics Committee implements a plan to ensure consistent, sustainable outcomes and practices as part of a fact-based approach to evaluating the alignment of the University’s academic mission with athletics. Each committee member is assigned a topic area for review and monitoring (such as advising, admissions or student-athlete experience) and is assigned a sports teams to evaluate the culture and issues that affect student-athlete academic success. (Refer to http://faccoun.unc.edu/committees-2/elected-committees/athletics-committee/.)

Summer 2012

Department of Athletics reorganizes personnel to provide sport programs and student-athletes additional administrative support and oversight. With the reorganization, sport oversight increases from two people for 28 teams to 18 people with specific roles and responsibilities. The department is further strengthened with the hiring of two additional staff members: a senior associate athletics director who oversees the compliance staff and serves as the liaison to ASPSA with the clear understanding that academic functions are independent of athletics; and an associate athletics director with a legal background for risk management who leads Academic Progress Rate improvement plans and risk analysis. In addition, an associate athletics director for compliance, who leads an evaluation of compliance systems, is added in 2013.

Spring 2012

Department of Athletics completes a comprehensive analysis that leads to the strategic plan, “Carolina Leads.” Announced in January 2013, its mission is to educate and inspire through athletics with key strategic emphasis on University Alignment, Academic Achievement, Athletic Achievement and Administrative Engagement. “Carolina Leads” calls for additional resources and staffing to ensure greater support for student-athlete academic and athletic success. (Refer to http://www.goheels.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=205865095.)

As part of “Carolina Leads,” goals are required for each unit and sports program in the Department of Athletics. Each unit is required to provide goals in the following six areas: student-athlete experience, academics, competition, compliance, finances and service. These goals enhance record-keeping and progress.

Fall 2011

University hires new Director of Athletics, new head football coach and coaching staff. In effort to improve communication within Department of Athletics and between University community, Director of Athletics invites Faculty Athletics Representative to attend Head Coaches meetings and participate in department-wide functions.

Advising and Support

Fall 2014

The Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group begins clarifying and documenting guidelines for recruiting, admissions, registration, enrollment, advising, counseling and all other processes that impact student-athletes’ lives.

Fall 2013

University requires all student-athletes to meet with an academic advisor from the College of Arts and Sciences and/or the professional schools at least once per semester to review their program of study, choose courses, plan for their academic major(s) and monitor progress toward graduation.

As part of the My Academic Plan (MAP) program – which creates and focuses on individually designed weekly plans based on student-athletes’ academic preparedness and specific needs – ASPSA offers guided study sessions for student-athletes led by academic counselors, assistant academic counselors and tutors. (Refer to http://carolinacommitment.unc.edu/updates/what-is-map/.)

Summer 2013

ASPSA begins reporting to the Provost, UNC’s chief academic officer, instead of the College of Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with the appointment of the new Director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes. The new director has appropriate credentials and background related to higher education and advising.

ASPSA and the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Advising Program begin cross training on policies, procedures and best practices.

Spring 2013

Two assistant deans are assigned to coordinate advising for student-athletes as part of the Academic Advising Program (AAP) in the College of Arts and Sciences. One is funded by the Department of Athletics and one is funded by the College’s Academic Advising Program.

Fall 2012

ASPSA and Academic Advising (which guides undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences and General College) clarify and coordinate their distinctive and complementary roles and responsibilities.

Summer 2012

Department of Athletics designates a senior associate athletics director as a liaison with the ASPSA and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to provide contextual information related to compliance with the clear understanding that academic functions are independent of athletics.

ASPSA hires a full-time tutor coordinator to recruit, hire, train, supervise and evaluate tutors. The tutor coordinator gathers written confirmation of compliance with NCAA regulations and surveys student-athletes on their experience to help improve academic support.

ASPSA eliminates its student mentoring program.

Spring 2012

ASPSA revives its faculty advisory committee to review policies, programs and services.

Fall 2011

ASPSA stops using undergraduate students as tutors except when specific content knowledge is required.

Institutional Leadership

Launch a new public records website (http://publicrecords.unc.edu) to enhance accountability, responsiveness and efficiency around records requests.

Add faculty to a group that reviews student-athlete eligibility and progress toward degree.

Establish a working group to ensure there are clear, consolidated and confidential channels through which people can raise their hand and share concerns. The working group will also recommend how best to oversee the University’s commitment to integrity and compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies.

Continue to align and advance existing advising and support programs for student-athletes, further integrating the delivery of academic and career advising to include intensive and early attention to major exploration and post-college opportunities.

Conduct an institution-wide policy and procedure audit that will allow the University to identify any remaining redundancies and gaps, and create a mechanism for periodic re-evaluation.

Develop and implement an expanded process for the systematic, consistent evaluation and review of every unit and department. The Provost or appropriate director will be authorized to launch a special department review as needed.

Immediately implement a plan to stabilize the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies. Similarly, Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham has been executing a plan to bolster integrity and accountability throughout the Athletics organization.

Take fact-based personnel actions, including terminating or commencing disciplinary action against nine University employees. Others implicated in the report include former University employees. (See http://carolinacommitment.unc.edu/updates/university-completes-six-personnel-reviews-after-wainstein-investigation/ for results.)