UNC Rejects Faculty Panel’s Finding That Administrators Interfered in Critic’s Class on Sports

Historians in the News
tags: sports, Jay Smith

A professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and prominent critic of the administration has long accused officials there of attempting to cancel his course, “Big-Time College Sports and the Rights of Athletes.” Now senior administrators have rejected a faculty grievance committee’s report that says administrators improperly interfered, The News & Observer reports.

Jay Smith, a history professor, has been an outspoken critic of the university since news began to break that university employees had created a system in which athletes were funnelled through fake courses in order to stay eligible to play. He co-wrote a book about the scandal with a former UNC employee who blew the whistle on the case.

Smith had filed a grievance with a three-member faculty panel accusing administrators of intimidation over his course, which covers the UNC scandal, and the panel ruled in his favor last year. Specifically, he alleged he had been told by the athletics director that the director should teach the class, not him. And Fitz Brundage, chair of the history department, told The Chronicle last year that higher-level administrators had approached him with concerns over the course.

“One of the most shocking aspects of this entire experience for me is how unprecedented it has been,” Smith told The Chronicle in 2017. “Our courses are often topical, and they often contain material that some would construe as controversial, but we have never heard real pressure from anyone in the administration to alter a course, to keep it off the books, to delete it — nothing like that.”

The panel recommended that the university not interfere with courses or threaten a department over an individual course. ...

Read entire article at The Chronicle of Higher Education

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