The University of North Carolina’s top official says the Chapel Hill school is firing a professor who once led the faculty there for her role in the academic fraud scandal that’s rocked the state’s flagship public university.
University Chancellor Carol Folt said in a letter Wednesday that philosophy professor Jeanette Boxill was notified of her upcoming termination on the same day last October that a scathing report was released. Boxill, former chairwoman of the faculty council, is appealing.
The report found that fake classes allowed 3,100 athletes and other students to earn artificially high grades from 1993 to 2011. The report described Boxill as directing women’s basketball players into fake courses.
Boxill is also a philosophy professor and until recently served as the director of the UNC Parr Center for Ethics. She has given multiple presentations and papers on sports ethics, and in 2003, edited a book of essays titled “Sports Ethics: An Anthology.”
Boxill was well respected at UNC, as noted the October investigative report compiled by attorney Kenneth Wainstein. “Numerous interviewees told us of their admiration for Boxill and how much Boxill has given of herself to the University and to the women’s basketball team,” that report noted.
However, according to the Wainstein report, “Jan Boxill was fully aware of the lax work requirements and grading standards in the paper classes and that [former AFAM administrative assistant Deborah Crowder] played a substantive and substantial role in the classes and the grading.”
In one particularly blatant email exchange, Boxill and Crowder agreed to give a women’s basketball player a D for a final paper that cited no sources, didn’t answer the original prompt, and appeared to be “recycled” from a separate class.
As described in UNC’s report last week, Boxill and Crowder “simply ignored the glaring deficiencies in [the basketball player’s] paper so as to allow her to graduate.” At the time of these emails, Boxill was the director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Philosophy, as well as the director of the Parr Center for Ethics.
The Associated Press and nine other media companies filed a lawsuit demanding the records of those who were disciplined. In response to a mediation session, the university named Boxill, an African studies lecturer who resigned and two lower-level staffers who lost jobs.
We reached out to Boxill and will update this post if we hear back.
The original Associated Press article was written by Emery P. Dalesio.
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