UNC-CH Spent $500K For PR Help In Academic Scandal
CHAPEL HILL – Newly released documents show North Carolina’s flagship state university spent more than $500,000 in donated funds over the past two years to manage public impressions about a long-running academic fraud scandal.
The News and Observer reports the money went to three firms working to manage the scandal that helped prompt the resignation of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp and firing of football coach Butch Davis.
Investigations found dozens of courses going back to 1997 in UNC-Chapel Hill’s African and Afro-American Studies department that had instructors who didn’t teach and grade reports that were faked.
Records show the Fleishman-Hillard PR firm received $367,000, political consultant and National Basketball Association official Doug Sosnik received $144,000, and Sheehan Associates of Washington, D.C., received nearly $20,000.