The University has taken action to fire longtime faculty member Jan Boxill for her involvement in a paper classes scheme that has been at the center of a long-running saga involving UNC’s former department of African and Afro-American studies, other faculty and the athletics department.
UNC disclosed its steps against Boxill on Wednesday, the same day that it announced that lecturer Tim McMillan ’80 (’82 MA,’89 PhD) had resigned. McMillan had been a member of the AFAM faculty for 20 years.
The University confirmed that Boxill was one of the four people that Chancellor Carol L. Folt fired on Oct. 22, the day of the release of a report by independent investigator Kenneth Wainstein that detailed the workings of the scandal.
In its statement this week, posted online, UNC did not confirm that McMillan was one of the four. Wainstein’s report and accompanying materials, also online, did report that McMillan knew about the scheme and helped steer students to the paper classes.
Also on Oct. 22, Folt said UNC was disciplining five other employees in addition to the four being dismissed. It previously disclosed that Jamie Lee, an adviser in the academic support center for athletes, had been fired. Beth Bridger, one of Lee’s colleagues, was fired on the day of the report’s release by UNC System President Thomas Ross ’75 (JD); Bridger had left Carolina and as of October was working in a similar role at UNC-Wilmington.
UNC said in a statement Wednesday that six University employees are undergoing reviews now and that one of those is Boxill.
“In light of the extraordinary circumstances underlying the longstanding and intolerable academic irregularities described in the Wainstein Report, as well as her role as chair of the faculty during a period of time covered by the report,” the statement reads, “the Chancellor has determined that in order to preserve the University’s integrity, it is necessary to disclose that, on October 22, 2014, the University informed faculty member Jeanette Boxill, Ph.D., of an intent to terminate her employment based on evidence accompanying the report.”
Boxill has requested a hearing before a committee of the faculty. UNC decided, after two months of declining to identify all of those fired, that it would release the information as a part of maintaining “the level and quality of services Carolina provides as well as our integrity as we continue to move forward.”
Ten media outlets had sought the release of the names of those fired and disciplined.
Boxill, a senior lecturer in the philosophy department, has been a high-profile member of the faculty. She was faculty chair from 2011 to 2014 and was director of the University’s Parr Center for Ethics, a position from which she was removed on the day the Wainstein report was released.
Wainstein said Boxill knew about the fake classes offered in AFAM and helped the scheme’s instigator, AFAM administrator Deborah Crowder ’75, arrange for athletes and other students to enroll in them. Wainstein also described Boxill’s involvement in the grades given for some of the fraudulent classes.