University of North Carolina

Recent Articles

In memory of three great men

By Charles Hallman
Staff writer


We lost three individuals this April; I personally didn’t know each of them, but came close to meeting one of them. Charles Sumner “Chuck” Stone, Jr. died April 6 of congestive heart failure at an assisted-living facility in North Carolina at the age of 89. Born in 1924 in St. Louis, he was a Tuskegee Airman in World War II. Then, instead of attending Harvard — who accepted him, he instead went to and graduated from Wesleyan University in 1948, and later earned his master’s from the University of Chicago. Continue Reading →

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NCAA madness continues long after March


March Madness 2014, basketball edition, is over, but the real madness in college sports is still disgracefully alive. Dr. Richard Lapchick’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport annual NCAA tournament graduation rate study, released last month, shows that White basketball players graduate almost 25 percent more often than Black players at many Division I schools. Last weekend’s four finalists all posted “disparity gap” graduation rates among their Black players. “When you look at the schools participating in the Final Four, and you look at the graduation rates of Black males…it’s a travesty,” noted Black Star Project Executive Director Phillip Jackson in a recent MSR interview. Then there’s the rarely-discussed North Carolina academic scandal. Continue Reading →

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Tutor exposes fake classes at major university




Mary Willingham has received death threats from social media users. She’s looked at by some with disdain. All because she decided to step forward and help bring to light what was going on at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Willingham, then a school’s academic tutor for UNC players, finally let it be known that she was the “unnamed source” for a local reporter’s investigative reporting on the school having set up fake classes, changed grades and awarded worthless degrees for football and basketball players — too many of them were Black — for at least a couple of decades. “I want to do right by them because I was part of the problem,” says Willingham during an MSR phone interview on the “hundreds” of UNC players she worked with during her seven years as a tutor. Continue Reading →

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Whistleblower persecuted for exposing UNC academic scandal

While people’s busted tournament brackets dominate this year’s March Madness hoops chat rooms, once again little or nothing has been said about that proverbial 2,000-pound elephant in the room — the continued hypocrisy of college sports. The University of North Carolina was among the 68 men’s teams and 64 women’s teams in this year’s respective NCAA tournament fields. This despite a huge academic scandal that has hovered over Chapel Hill for at least two years now involving the school offering “bogus classes” since the 1990s for mostly basketball and football players. Ohio University Professor David Ridpath told that the U of M academic scandal in the late 1990s, when class papers were ghostwritten for several basketball players, then considered the worst scandal in sports history, “pales in comparison” to the UNC situation. Remember Minnesota’s 1997 Final Four run and their Big Ten title that year as well?  The Gophers’ NIT crown won in 1998? Continue Reading →

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Carolina Black Caucus defends U of North Carolina’s exploitation of Black students







By Phillip Jackson

Cntributing Writer


As a Black man in America, I find it appalling that the University of North Carolina’s Black Caucus would choose to issue a declaration of support to defend the UNC even after the University admitted that it “cheated young Black men” out of the best education possible on its campus. James Dean, UNC executive vice chancellor and provost of UNC, told Bloomberg Businessweek the university offered phony classes for decades, and ”Horrible things happened that I’m ashamed of.” UNC Chancellor Carol Folt, who only took office in 2013, admitted to UNC trustees that the flagship university failed students for years with a lack of academic oversight. Even after these admissions of destroying the academic lives of mostly young Black male student athletes, the Carolina Black Caucus, comprised of Black UNC faculty and staff, defended the University of North Carolina and its destructive actions. Their declaration in support of UNC is more of a “cheer” for their jobs than a principled stand on the issue of successfully educating all UNC students. Maybe these esteemed faculty and staff of the Carolina Black Caucus don’t realize that their university students are not just competing among themselves in the big cities and small towns of North Carolina. Continue Reading →

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Sugar versus other sweeteners

What effect do they have on the environment? 
By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss

Contributing Writers


The production of sugar has indeed taken a huge environmental toll. “Sugar has arguably had as great an impact on the environment as any other agricultural commodity,” reports the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), citing biodiversity loss as a result of the “wholesale conversion of habitat on tropical islands and on coastal areas” to grow sugar. WWF adds that the cultivation of sugar has also resulted in considerable soil erosion and degradation and the use of large amounts of chemicals across the tropics and beyond. Some natural food markets now carry sustainably harvested sugar that does not fit this profile, though sugar’s ugly history has led many eco-conscious consumers to look elsewhere to satiate their sweet teeth. Fortunately there are several natural and artificial options that are safe to eat and relatively benign for the environment. Continue Reading →

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Businesswoman specializes in customized strategies


By Robin James

Contributing Writer


For organizations that want to make a meaningful impact in the marketplace, equip a workforce with new skills, and get better at offering ideas that transcend genres and categories, it isn’t easy. Millennium Consulting Group’s president Yvonne Cheek is up for initiating a dialogue on the subject. At a glance, she is a strategic change consultant. Along with her colleagues at Millennium Consulting Group in Minneapolis, Cheek helps her clientele broaden and shape their ways of thinking about designing, launching and reaping the benefits of new initiatives. The North Carolina native taught at both elementary and junior high schools in Greensboro, N.C., and has taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Puget Sound, where she served as the chair of music education, in Tacoma, Washington. Continue Reading →

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