CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — An Orange County grand jury has indicted former UNC-Chapel Hill African studies chairman Julius Nyang’oro on a charge of obtaining property by false pretenses.
According to WTVD, Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Nyang’oro, 59, took $12,000 for a class he did not teach.
The African and Afro-American Studies program has been at the center of an investigation into alleged academic fraud involving Tar Heel football players.
UNC President Tom Ross said Monday he fully supports Woodall’s decision to seek an indictment.
“There have been multiple investigations and reviews of these matters that should give us all assurance that we have taken all reasonable and available steps to uncover the facts of this situation,” Ross said in a statement, according to WTVD.
Last May, Woodall officially asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into activities within the African and Afro-American Studies program. He said he wanted to know if there was any academic fraud, financial fraud, computer fraud, any forgery, or conspiracy to conceal any crimes.
A UNC review of classes within the department found 54 department classes that had little or no indication of instruction along with at least 10 cases of unauthorized grade changes for students who did not do all the work.
The classes were popular with athletes. They made up about 45 percent of enrollments. Nyang’oro stepped down from his chairmanship shortly after UNC began investigating the classes in 2011. He retired in 2012.
It was reported that Ross said Monday that UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC system have implemented extensive new policies, procedures, and safeguards to prevent similar problems from ever happening again
“We will continue to explore additional ways to ensure the integrity of the academic experience at UNC-Chapel Hill and all UNC campuses,” said Ross.