UNC Fraud Report Released

UNC Considers New Approach In Measuring University’s Academic Performance

By Rachel Nash Posted March 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm

UNC leaders are proposing a new approach to measuring the University’s overall academic status.

Provost Jim Dean, who acts as the chief academic officer on campus, introduced the “The Carolina Metrics Project,” which seeks to build a set of guidelines to assess the University’s academic standing and set targets for improvement.

“We are moving toward an answer to the question, ‘How is the University performing academically?” Dean said during a UNC Board of Trustees committee meeting.

In an operation as vast as UNC, Dean said it can be challenging to measure academic performance accurately.

This push toward transparency on a broader level comes at a pivotal time for Carolina, as its reputation continues to undergo scrutiny for the past academic fraud scandals involving student athletes.

This week, two new, former UNC football players have come forward, on nationally televised sports programs, to say that they were encouraged to take no-show classes in order to retain their athletic eligibility during their collegiate careers.

Dean did not comment on those testimonials.

Dr. Ronald P. Strauss, UNC’s Executive Vice Provost and Chief International Officer, was also behind the proposed performance measurements.

He said the five factors that could be used to determine academic performance include measures of the quality of faculty members, the campus environment, the quality of the student body, and benefits to the public from the University.

“Our goals are pretty clear. We want to build a set of accessible, visible metrics to measure academic status. We also wanted to transform it into some form of a dashboard that is visible to stakeholders, our audiences and our constituencies,” he said.

Strauss said he solicited feedback from many campus groups in formulating the framework for academic performance, adding that he wants it to portray a realistic representation of the University.

“The cautionary tale is that, at least the educational advisory board felt that, some universities have taken this as a self-promotional endeavor and the only variables [that are shared] are the variables that compliment the reputation of the university. That is not what we are seeking to do here,” Strauss said.

 The full Board of Trustees meets Thursday, during which UNC Director of Athletics, Bubba Cunningham, will speak about the daily lives of student athletes.

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