Taxpayers subsidize a school in Chapel Hill that embodies the athletic dreams of their great state, and it has always been the responsibility of its board of trustees (The trustee page includes nicknames for each of the trustees. Haywood Cochrane is “Haywood,” Peter Grauer is “Peter,” Kelly Hopkins is “Kelly.”) to retain faculty who understand the foundational values of the institution.

A one-paragraph final paper for a recent course at the mill – a paragraph plagiarized from the first page of a reader designed for third graders – has gone viral and why not. Why the hell not. Its grade was A minus.

People – especially the people footing the bill, which is to say the citizens of North Carolina – have every right to know why they paid for that minus, what the fuck that itty bitty tail is doing trailing that A like some pointless right offensive guard just standing there along the side of things taking up room on the field. Whenever you give a revenue athlete a grade, you’re sending one of two messages: We love you, and ever since we debased ourselves beyond belief to recruit you, our love has only grown; or We take it upon ourselves to judge you. To actually judge you and give you a minus.

Which one will it be, Tar Heels???

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6 Responses to “The State of North Carolina’s Diploma Mill and the Scandal of the A-”

  1. Van L. Hayhow Says:

    I mean he did write 148 words, even if he did plagiarize it. That certainly deserves an A.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Van: Well, his salaried sock puppet cut and pasted 148 words, but let’s not quibble over details.

  3. Dr_Doctorstein Says:

    My guess is that the assignment called for copying and pasting 500 words, and that the student got dinged for not following instructions.

  4. Mr Punch Says:

    The real issue at Chapel Hill is precisely that it’s not basically a diploma mill – it’s a serious university that has been corrupted (over a long time) by athletics. Akron, even Alabama and Nebraska – what do we expect? But when UNC compromises is standards, when Duke embraces “one and done” athletes, when Berkeley doesn’t graduate its players, there’s real damage to American higher education.

  5. MW Says:

    This whole affair makes me (a) ashamed to be an alum of UNC and (b) glad to be teaching at a D-III school, where the main worry is whether we can afford to spend $40K on new uniforms for our athletes.

  6. JND Says:

    I’m also at a DIII school. If that paper gets an A- at North Carolina, maybe I’m grading too hard?

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