A "woeful lack of oversight" and a culture that confused academic freedom with a lack of accountability helped more than 3,100 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -- many of them athletes -- enroll and pass classes they never attended and which were not taught by a single faculty member.
A report released Wednesday by Kenneth Wainstein, a former official with the U.S. Department of Justice, found that the academic fraud was systematic and far-reaching, lasting for nearly 20 years and consisting of 188 classes in the African and Afro-American studies department. About half of the 3,100 students were athletes, and investigators concluded that some university employees were aware of the fraud and actively steered athletes and other struggling students toward the classes.
Unfortunately, departments that were created laregly to get control of university buildings back from protesters are often filled with charlatans. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with African and Afro-American studie, but programs originally created as Affirmative Action ghettos are unlikely to be centers of excellence.