WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A group of UNC system faculty sent a memo to its accreditor outlining concerns about the state legislature and Board of Governors. The UNC Faculty Assembly said it believes both overstepped their bounds, potentially risking the system's accreditation.
Chairman of the Assembly, Dr. Gabriel Lugo, and representatives from the 17 public schools in the system sent the letter to the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges that read, in part
Dr. Lugo said it was a tough decision to make.
"I don't like politics that's why I do math, but nonetheless while doing this job one has to interact with the political environment in which the university runs," Lugo said.
Lugo said there are multiple situations where the Board of Governors have taken over jobs that should be handled by chancellors and when the General Assembly has inserted itself into the authority of the Board of Governors. The memo outlined 17 examples Lugo states are clear violations of not just accreditation, but integrity, including legislators sitting at the table at Board of Governors meetings, tenure review policies changing in spite of opposing resolutions from campuses, and a "packed" Board of Governors-- the group says the board was rebuilt with partisan bias.
"It's very uncomfortable for me, but all we are doing is raising concerns," Lugo clarified.
SACSCOC regulates standards across the board for higher education institutions in the south and does have the authority to impose penalties. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill fell under scrutiny after the academics-athletics fraud case that first came to light in 2011 and was put on a year-long probation by the group. It was lifted in 2016.
You can see a full list of the complaints here: