Willingham To Leave UNC

By Ran Northam Posted April 22, 2014 at 5:30 am

Story originally posted April 21, 2014, 5:16 p.m.

UNC academic advisor Mary Willingham says she’s leaving the University at the end of the semester.

Willingham has been silent since the report was released that three outside experts discredited her research, which used the SATA RV (Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults Reading Vocabulary) subtests of student athletes to test their college readiness. The experts stated that the tests used were not valid methods of reading abilities.

Jay Smith (Photo by Dan Sears)

Jay Smith (Photo by Dan Sears)

Willingham has said she continues to stand by her research and that the experts didn’t have access to all of the information she found in her research. She said her lead assistant wasn’t even contacted.

UNC history professor Jay Smith confirmed that Willingham made the decision to leave UNC after a meeting with Chancellor Carol Folt Monday. He said she told him the meeting lasted about an hour. Smith said he recalled Willingham saying that Chancellor Folt admonished her and expressed how displeased she was. He said she did have a chance to voice her concerns to the University’s first-in-command.

Joel Curran photo courtesy UNC News

Joel Curran photo courtesy UNC News

UNC Vice Chancellor for Communication Joel Curran told WCHL that both Chancellor Folt and Willingham recorded the meeting. He said he listened to the recording and that it was very business-like. He said Willingham did not hand in a letter of resignation.

Smith said it is his understanding that Willingham will take some time off to dedicate her work to the reform and that employment may not be a high priority in the short term.

Willingham told WCHL that she will be speaking with her boss mid-next week once she has posted her grades for the semester. She said she will speak with WCHL once that process is complete.

Stay tuned here and on 97.9 FM WCHL for more information.

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