Dear Carolina Community,

Two years ago, we brought together a 10-person team of campus leaders to do something that we believe no other University had done before: document and assess all academic processes that affect student-athletes from the time that they are recruited until after they graduate. With Chancellor Carol L. Folt’s direction and support, we led the Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group in this effort. When the Working Group was organized, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was still in the midst of investigating academic and athletic irregularities. We knew that we needed to make changes at Carolina to address these issues and promote academic integrity. At the time, in fall 2013, Chancellor Folt had just taken office and we were new to our roles. We needed a clear and comprehensive understanding of academics for student-athletes in order to move forward. The Chancellor charged the Working Group to look holistically at academic processes for student-athletes and improve student-athletes’ experience at Carolina.

We are pleased to announce that these processes, as well as responses to various report recommendations, are fully documented on a searchable website at apsa.unc.edu. The Working Group identified 21 processes, and the details of each are complex. Our goal was to communicate that detailed information transparently and comprehensively. We encourage you to visit the site, which is also accessible through the Carolina Commitment site.

The group determined that, after several years of scrutiny and reform, most current academic processes for student-athletes at Carolina are reasonable and sound. However, in some cases we implemented changes, which include:

  • Improved communication with student-athlete recruits regarding academic requirements and expectations, including new NCAA eligibility standards (Processes 1.0 and 2.0)
  • Improved coordination between Department of Athletics Compliance Office, Office of the University Registrar, the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes and faculty (Process 11.0)
  • Improved process by which returning student-athletes may complete their UNC degree (Process 19.0)

More changes are described on the website.

The Working Group was successful because of its active cross-campus collaboration, and we thank the members for their thoughtful leadership and service:

  • Anna Agbe-Davies, Assistant Professor, Anthropology
  • Lissa Broome, Distinguished Professor, School of Law; Faculty Athletics Representative
  • Michelle Brown, Assistant Provost and Director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes
  • Deborah Clarke, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
  • Stephen Farmer, Vice Provost, Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions
  • Vince Ille, Senior Associate Athletic Director
  • James Johnson, Distinguished Professor, Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • Andrew Perrin, Professor, Sociology

Our University will continue to support academic and athletic excellence. The Working Group’s efforts provide a platform for future changes and improvements. We now have a tool to examine and adjust academic processes for student-athletes as needed. Going forward, a group of University leaders, including faculty, staff and students, will continue to monitor, review, assess, document and recommend improvements to these processes for Carolina’s student-athletes.

Sincerely,

James W. Dean, Jr.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

 

Bubba Cunningham

Director of Athletics

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