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Former UNC-Chapel Hill professor indicted in academic scandal

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall has charged former UNC professor Julius Nyang’oro with obtaining property by false pretense for accepting money for a class he didn’t teach.

Julius Nyang’oro, the former chairman of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was indicted Monday by an Orange County grand jury on a charge related to an academic scandal at the school.

Nyang’oro could face up to 30 months in prison if he is convicted of obtaining property by false pretense, which is a felony. Investigators said he accepted $12,000 for teaching a class that never happened.

The university reclaimed the money through garnishment of his final paycheck.

While I am mad as anyone that UNC condoned cheating, I think the false-pretense charge is ridiculous. You would have a harder time convincing me that UNC didn’t know this was going on, that UNC wasn’t fully aware of what Nyang’oro was doing, than convincing me that Nyang’oro somehow hoodwinked the university. These things don’t happen in a vacuum. The professor has done this work many times before with no compensation. It was the university’s idea to pay him this particular time and by then it should have been “caveat emptor.”

Again, I can’t stand cheaters and I think the book should be thrown at UNC for their misdeeds. However, this charge won’t result in justice. It will result in quite an interesting trial, though, as Nyang’oro and his attorney summon some very uncomfortable witnesses to testify at his defense.

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