Julius Nyang’oro, the man at the center of the controversy over fraudulent academics at UNC, is cooperating in the latest investigation into the matter. Independent investigator Kenneth Wainstein told members of the news media on June 20 that both Nyang’oro and Deborah Crowder ’75, the former office manager in what was then the department of African and Afro-American studies, were cooperating fully with his work.
Nyang’oro is scheduled to be in court in Orange County June 25 to answer a criminal charge of accepting a $12,000 payment for a course he did not teach in 2011.
Meanwhile, Wainstein is leading a team that is looking into the roots and development of a pattern of classes, later were declared fraudulent, in the AFAM department.
Those classes were found to have consisted of a single term paper and no lectures. The practice started in 1997 — shortly after AFAM was elevated from a curriculum to a department — it peaked in 2005 and then dropped to near zero by 2009. In 2012, the department was renamed African, African-American and diaspora studies.
The University administration wants to know how the AFAM situation may have been related to athletics at the University, and South Building has promised that Wainstein is completely independent and free to go wherever the evidence takes him.
Crowder has been implicated in the fraud but, in exchange for her cooperation with Wainstein, will not be charged. Neither Nyang’oro nor Crowder has spoken publicly.
Nyang’oro was the department’s first and only chair until he resigned as chair under pressure in August 2011. He retired on July 1, 2012.