So, after years of stonewalling, denials, and trashing the reputation of whistleblowers, UNC administration finally acknowledges that, yeah, there’s some fraud going on there. Just a tiny bit. Only the fraud that’s been proven beyond all conceivable doubt. And not a drop more.
Key to administration’s denials was the claim that all the fraud was just one guy in the African studies department. The ol’ “lone nut” theory, if you will.
Let’s see a key quote again:
“For five years, UNC has insisted the paper classes were the doing of one rogue professor: the department chair of the African-American studies program, Julius Nyang\’oro. Wainstein\’s report spread the blame much further.”
Oh well, so much for blaming it all on one professor. Seriously, this was a blatant lie from the start, obvious to anyone in higher education—the entire administrative staff should have spoken out about this obvious lie.
Let me explain this lie, because it’s important for the gentle reader to understand the epic scale of the fraud going on at UNC, and throughout higher education.
See, administration knows the enrollments of classes, and has to approve classes every semester. Many years ago, classes could get cancelled if their enrollment was 5 students or less…nowadays, I’ve seen classes of 20 students get cancelled “due to lack of enrollment.” The profit margin for such “small” classes just isn’t high enough for admin, the inconvenience to the students paying $10,000 a semester is irrelevant to admin. Thus I know administrators are lying en masse here:
These paper classes were independent study courses, and had enrollments of 1 apiece. Yes, 1 student. That’s the kind of number that administrators notice, immediately. The only way admin would approve a single such course (much less approve it over 3,000 times) is if they knew exactly what was going on. There’s no way they’d lose profits otherwise. Legitimate courses with a single student can certainly happen, but an administrator seeing a few dozen such courses is going to, at the bare minimum, ask that they be converted into one class. Even if not, the next administrator up the food chain is going to ask why so many independent study courses, especially at the undergraduate level. It gets past two administrators? Very unlikely, but those approvals had to go all the way up the chain of command without anyone noticing a problem. For 18 years.
It wasn’t just the department head. It wasn’t just the dean. It wasn’t just the provost, vice-chancellor, vice-president, chancellor or Grand Poo-bah. Everyone knew, from the department head on up (at the bare minimum!)…everyone had to know, every semester, of the 50+ bogus courses being given each semester over the course of 18 years.
Since the entire administrative staff has demonstrated their willingness to support a lie like this to facilitate fraud, maybe the Federal government will pursue racketeering charges? One can hope. There is a great deal of student federal loan money being stolen here, after all.
Since the entire administrative staff tried to tell this lie, maybe the public, or accreditation will insist that the whole lot of them get fired? If sending them to jail like any other organized crime syndicate isn’t an option, is firing just too much, also? There are many hundreds of universities around, surely UNC is not too big to fail? They’re clearly too big to fail any students, I guess.
The whistleblower who tried to make this scandal public years ago is, of course, out of a job, but I hope she feels vindicated. Seeing as admin called her a liar, many times, she’s certainly entitled. Like so many in higher education who’ve tried to do something about the widespread fraud, she’s taking her former bosses to court:
“Willingham also said she believes it took so many years and six previous investigations because \”this is the flagship of the university system and of the state, and to admit we did anything wrong was too difficult. There is a level of arrogance here, and that\’s part of the culture.\”
Despite all the confirmed allegations of fraud, accreditation has yet to do a single thing about UNC. It would be funny if, to protect the academics of UNC from accrediting problems, the administration threw their athletic programs under a bus. Ok, I’m just dreaming here, everyone knows higher education administrators care nothing about education, and accreditation will never do more than a very light, apologetic, slap on the wrist.
And now, back to the point of this and the previous two blog posts. The SAT is legitimate, even though it’s run by a single private company. A *hint* of fraud and immediately the company does something about it. A private company can maintain legitimacy, without having a regulatory agency watching its every move.
How about the public, and semi-public, institutions of higher education?
Higher education is legitimized by a number of regulators, accrediting agencies. Even nearly twenty years of scandals and confirmed allegations aren’t enough for an accreditor to notice something is wrong, much less do anything about it. Accreditation simply does not care if UNC is operating fraudulently…accreditation doesn’t care if any institution of higher education is operating fraudulently. Because of this, much—not all, but much—of higher education today is outright fraud.
“Rocks for Jocks”
–this is the nickname for “Geology of our National Parks”, a course that counts for science credit, although far, far, easier than, say Physics or Biology or the like. I’ll leave it to the reader to guess, from the nickname, the typical student in that course, taught at a different state university than UNC. “Paper Classes” are just one of many fraudulent games played in higher education.
The UNC fraud really isn’t a fraud just at UNC. It’s not even a fraud just about college sports. It’s an academic fraud. Many universities offer a “two tier” system of education. You can get a serious degree with real college courses, or you can get a bogus degree, filled with bogus courses. Yes, athletes tend toward the latter (and I am IN NO WAY criticizing the athletes for this), but anyone who wishes can take those bogus courses. Heck, Education departments on campuses are almost entirely bogus, with special “Math for Education Majors”, “Science for Education Majors” and “Art for Education Majors” courses every bit as bogus as “Rocks for Jocks.”
That’s just the universities. I’ve shown in detail that community colleges have very little college coursework, and that much of their resources go to teaching 6th grade level material. It doesn’t matter that doing so violates Federal law, that doing so is unethical, that doing so violates accreditation on many levels. They just keep doing it, because that student money is so easy to obtain, and the Federal government stupidly thinks accreditation has anything to do with making sure institutions follow the law, act with integrity, or otherwise follow basic principles of accreditation. Accreditation does none of these things, and, even if it did, has no real means of penalizing violations beyond withdrawing accreditation, a process that is miserably slow and happens so rarely, for such strange reasons, that it hardly counts.
So why should accreditation have anything to do with legitimizing education?