Dear Carolina Community,
Earlier today, Kenneth Wainstein, a former federal prosecutor, released the findings of his independent investigation into academic irregularities at Carolina. You may view the report at carolinacommitment.unc.edu.
I recognize that the past few years have been challenging for our community, but today we have a full picture of what happened. I am deeply disappointed by the duration and the extent of the wrongdoing, as well as the lack of oversight that could have corrected it sooner. We could have saved so much anguish and, more importantly, protected the students and countless members of our community who played absolutely no role. My greatest hope is that we can restore your trust and ensure that you do not feel diminished by the bad actions of others.
It is important to separate the past from the present—and the future. Mr. Wainstein found that the irregularities were confined to one department, peaked almost a decade ago and ended in 2011. Since first learning of these irregularities four years ago, Carolina took action to stop the wrongdoing and implemented numerous additional reforms, and we continue to take actions that build on the initiatives currently in place.
We already are stronger as a result of our journey, not only from the reforms, but because of our willingness to accept responsibility. Now is our time to show how resilient we can be – how we are going to continue the process of deep soul-searching and self-reflection, and how we are going to use what we have learned to become better, stronger and even more proud of who we are as an institution.
I expect the members of our community to experience a range of emotions about the report’s findings and our actions. As you reflect upon the learnings, remember that our University’s 221-year history has never been defined by a single moment. Rather, our legacy is built from the impressive accomplishments and discoveries made every day on this campus by our students, faculty and staff.
In that spirit, let me remind you of our town hall event this evening from 5 to 6 p.m. in room G100 of the Genome Sciences Building. I want to provide you with more insights on the report and respond to your questions. I hope you will be able to join me.
I feel today, more than ever, that it is the privilege of my career to be chancellor of one of the greatest universities in America. I am so proud of what our campus community is accomplishing – and where we are headed.
Thank you for your support.
Carol L. Folt