Jaycee Burn Center director and John Stackhouse Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Bruce Cairns was recently elected as chair of the faculty at UNC amid an academic scandal that has some faculty—current and former—up in arms.

Dr. Cairns will take over from Jan Boxill at the start of the new academic year on July 1 and serve three years.

A review by former N.C. governor Jim Martin of the African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department found that the department’s chair, Julius Nyang’oro, and another administrator, Deborah Crowder, were to blame for the scandal. The review also found that the improprieties began in 1997.

As Dr. Cairns begins to take over as the faculty’s voice, he says everyone at UNC is of the same mind about the situation.

“First and foremost, no one, there is not a single person in this University that thinks that what has happened is defensible or acceptable,” Dr. Cairns says. “It’s happened over a long period of time and all of the investigations that have been done have demonstrated that.”

Those comments were made in a WCHL News Special with Jim Heavner.

***Listen to Part 1***

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

The results of another investigation, currently underway by former Assistant Attorney General for National Security and Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, Kenneth Wainstein, are expected sometime this summer.

Cairns says, regardless of what has happened and what the current investigation finds, everyone involved needs to keep one thing in mind.

“What we need to do is remember we are here for the students,” Dr. Cairns says. “That, particularly for the faculty, we’re here to educate the students, do research and service. We have these issues, we need to investigate them, and then we need to run this university and serve our people.”

The WCHL News Special with Jim Heavner featuring Dr. Bruce Cairns will air Saturday and Sunday at 12:00 noon on 97.9 FM, 1360 AM, and streaming here.