Phi Beta Cons

A Little Bit Lame

For a number of years, the African and Afro-American Studies Department at UNC–Chapel Hill has been letting students take and pass courses that provide no instruction. That news surfaced after an internal review, which got started because of UNC’s football scandals. For most of the 54 courses identified as not taught at all or “aberrantly” taught, the instructor of record was chair of the department. He has resigned as chair and will retire July 1.

On May 24, an incredulous board of trustees asked some administrators how this could have happened. The Durham Herald-Sun quoted Karen Gil, dean of UNC’s  College of Arts & Sciences: 

“There are checks and balances all over the system, but in this case they did not detect the problems,” Gil said. “There were no student complaints regarding these courses. Typically, you would depend on the chairman of the department and the department’s staff to do their jobs and to alert us in the dean’s office if there were any problems.”

And to avoid being alerted, keep your eyes closed.


Jane S. Shaw — Jane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...

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