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Chancellor Folt: One Year In Office

By Ran Northam Posted July 1, 2014 at 6:11 am

Chancellor Carol Folt has officially held the position of first-in-command at UNC for one year after taking the position on this date last year, and it hasn’t been an easy one.

Tuesday marks the official first anniversary of the University’s 11th chancellor and first female chancellor. Her entrance was brought on by the departure of Holden Thorp, who served in that seat for five years before his resignation. Thorp is now the Provost at Washington University in St. Louis.

Chancellor Folt took the job knowing that Carolina was in the middle of the biggest academic scandal in the school’s history and on the heels of the NCAA handing out punishment to the football team, including probation until 2015, a one-year postseason ban, and the loss of 15 scholarships over three seasons. Those results stemmed from finding that impermissible benefits were given to members of the UNC football team.

UNC announced Monday that the NCAA has reopened its 2011 investigation based on the possibility of newly available information.

Former North Carolina Governor Jim Martin was hired to conduct a review of the African and Afro-American Studies Department. That report, which was released on December 19, 2012, stated that the issue was isolated to academics solely and was not an athletic problem.

Now, the University is awaiting the results of yet another review. Former assistant attorney general for national security and partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft Kenneth Wainstein was hired by the University in January to conduct an external review of any and all academic irregularities. On June 20 at a UNC Board of Governors meeting, Wainstein made it a point to say he has not been giving the University updates into his investigation in order to protect the integrity of the review. The University has in turn promised Wainstein not to conduct any other investigations until he has concluded the review.

Wainstein says he hopes to have the investigation completed before the start of the Fall 2014 semester.

Chancellor Folt’s first year has been highlighted by new hires. She recently announced the completion of her executive team with the hire of ¬Matthew Fajack as the University’s new chief financial officer and vice chancellor for finance and administration. Her first hire was that of Jim Dean to the Provost position. He was previously the dean of the Kenan Flagler Business School.

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