Talk:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Whether the "flagship" status of a university can be presented as objective fact[edit]

There is currently an RfC on this question at Talk:University of Maine#Flagship RFC. Coppertwig (talk) 12:53, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

I object to the use of the term 'flagship' on this page and I would suggest that it be changed to reflect the fact that UNC is the oldest university in NC. The term 'flagship'insinuates a degree of superiority not verifiable objectively and the term has an elitist undertone. Why insist on its use when the use of the term creates confusion? Isn't the point that you want people to know it was the first? Why not say that clearly?


I agree. The UNC system has repeatedly been inconsistent in this area, however, at no point in the last 30 years has UNC-CH been labeled as THE flagship. The system has either labeled both UNC-CH and NCSU has flagship universities in their respective areas, or that the system has no flagship at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 152.14.225.230 (talk) 22:30, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed, the system has no official flagship, using this term is confusing and irrelevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.182.22.207 (talk) 16:09, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I also object to the term "flagship", the system has never designated any of the schools as a flagship. It's an inaccurate term and does not make any sense given the history and context of each campus in the system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.182.22.207 (talk) 21:54, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

Although there may not an official designation, there is certainly widespread agreement among scholars that this is a flagship campus. Thirty seconds on Google shows several reliable sources e.g., USA Today, The Education Trust, and The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. I'm sure we can provide many, many more references if you'd like.
And by the way: Not only do you seem to be editing against consensus but you're consistently breaking the university infobox in the article. Stop doing that. ElKevbo (talk) 22:38, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I know the NC State people don't like it, but UNC is the flagship university of the UNC system. Whether it is "official" or "unofficial" doesn't really matter. As long as it has reliable sources backing it up (and it does), it should not be removed from the article without consensus. Rreagan007 (talk) 17:26, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Should we nominate this for an FA review?[edit]

I haven't contributed too much to this article, but since this is a GA already I was wondering if we could submit this article for an FA review. This would be good for the UNC wiki project group and overall for good. I'm willing to help out with the corrections that are pointed out, I want this article to be a featured article.ThurstAsh13 (talk) 00:23, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Nevermind, I lost the will to do this. ThurstAsh13 (talk) 03:42, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Controversy section[edit]

This recent controversy really has no place in this article. This is one isolated case that has been brought by a student attorney general and student run honor court, which operates basically completely independent from the university administration.

But more importantly, this is a clear case of WP:Recentism:

"Recentism is writing or editing without a long-term, historical view, thereby inflating the importance of a topic that has received recent public attention and possibly resulting in:
  • Articles overburdened with documenting controversy as it happens.
  • Articles created on flimsy, transient merits.
  • The muddling or diffusion of the timeless facets of a subject, previously recognized by Wikipedia consensus."

This is an article about a large public university that is over 200 years old. It is inappropriate to have a controversy section in it that only contains information from a single, largely insignificant case of "he-said, she-said" that has only been covered by marginal media sources within the past few days. Rreagan007 (talk) 06:58, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

I think it's fair to object to this information on the grounds that it's giving it undue weight. It is not acceptable or viable to object to it purely on the grounds that it's a student-run organization and therefore it's somehow not supposed to be included in this article. ElKevbo (talk) 07:23, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I understand your point. I was merely trying to explain why this case is not very notable as it relates to the university itself. Had university officials come out and said something like "we condone rape" or if the university administration had been involved in some kind of cover up of rape cases, then it probably would be a notable case worthy of inclusion in the article. As it is, this is a largely unnoteworthy case as it relates to the university as a whole, which is what this article is about. I'm sure over the 200+ years the university has been open, there have been literally hundreds of controversies far more notable than this one, so I can't see a reason why this 1 case would get its own section in the article. Rreagan007 (talk) 07:44, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Rankings and Reputation[edit]

Along the same lines of the above section, I think the last paragraph in the section "Rankings and Reputation" should be taken out of this article. The last paragraph references an "academic scandal" that was found to involve only one professor who has since left the university and charged with felony fraud charges (http://www.chapelhillnews.com/2013/12/08/3429505/lawyer-nyangoro-will-fight-felony.html). There has been no other departments that have been found at fault and the director of the department has also retired.

Furthermore, the end of this paragraph is based on opinion or hearsay. The last reference in the paragraph (on the sentence, "Nevertheless, questions continue to be raised about just how endemic these problems are at North Carolina.") was even a reference to an opinion article in the NY Times.

Once again, I think this is falling under the category of WP:Recentism. I could understand and agree with the inclusion of this paragraph if the section was about how the UNC Afro-American studies department was regarded as one of the best in the country, but it is not even mentioned. The "Ranking and Reputation" section is meant to display the departments and majors that national and international publications have identified as exemplary, none of which have been brought up in links to any of the issues the paragraph references. Some of the rankings and awards mentioned were issued since the disclosure of this incident, and seemed to not have affected the publications' opinion of the university. I'm sure that other professors have been relieved of their teaching duties at the university because of their classes not being up to standard. None of those classes or professors have mentions in the article, nor should they. This case was brought to light primarily due to its ties (or possible ties) to UNC athletics.

Any other opinions or objections to this paragraph being removed? Tnbailey09 (talk) 18:32, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

I agree. Remove it, as it has no large significance about the University. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.129.146.186 (talk) 21:32, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

I disagree with the IP to a point. While it is true that the graph probably needs rewriting to conform to WP:NPOV, this has been brewing for a couple of years and so does not fall under the umbrella of WP:Recentism. --Digitalican (talk) 21:40, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Weasel Wording[edit]

Having been beaten about myself by editors wikilawyering I think the IP deserves a better explanation of the reversion of weasel wording (meant as a descriptive appellation and not a snarky comment.) The findings of the Martin Commission were that there were structural deficiencies in the African-American studies program at UNC which would allow students to get a passing grade without attending classes. It wasn't that only some students were allowed to do this. All students (in that department) were allowed, but only some took advantage of the structural deficiency. Secondly, the Martin commission did not find suspicions, it found problems. (A finding of suspicions is classic weasel-wording.) Finally, I am going to revert the term irregularity back to fraud because that was the documented criminal charge (outside the Martin Commission report.) I understand the desire to mitigate the damage of this incident, I am a UNC grad myself, but it is a matter of record and needs to be included. --Digitalican (talk) 13:15, 21 February 2014 (UTC)


Then I'll re-write to reflect the structural deficiencies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.129.146.186 (talk) 16:14, 27 February 2014 (UTC)


Recentism/scandal talk[edit]

In comparison of other institutions with similar or just as egregious academic irregularities, I find little to no mention. This is because the academic irregularities are only but a thousandth of the history of the institution. Furthermore, the history has yet to be written in the books. I would love to discuss the scandals, but having them incorporated by journalists or bloggers with writing slants (see: Paul Barrett) does not seem appropriate.

See: FSU, Auburn, Minnesota, Cal Berkeley, Ohio State, University of Kansas, Duke, and so forth. None of them have articles related to their cheating and academic problems. I move to remove recentism. It can be added to a Recent history of the University. 64.129.146.186 (talk) 17:07, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Sexual assault controversy[edit]

I just restored and slightly expanded a small section detailing the "sexual assault controversy" at this university. The events received significant attention both in media and policy circles, especially the ongoing ramifications and cascading policy changes at other colleges and universities that continue to follow the initial incidents at this one university. This is most evident from the recent inclusion of Andrea Pino, one of the students who filed the complaint at UNC, in The Chronicle of Higher Education's 2013 Influence List where she is listed as an "Anti-Rape Activist" who "spark[ed] a movement." Inclusion on that list isn't a Nobel Prize or anything but it definitely indicates that this topic is noteworthy enough to be included in appropriate encyclopedia articles. ElKevbo (talk) 17:10, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Undue. UNC has hundreds of years of history. This is WP:recentism. You could add this content to the History of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill article if you want, or create a new article.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 17:34, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
I disagree. This is having a profound national impact on hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States. It certainly doesn't deserve more than a few sentences in this article, however, so the section could probably stand to be edited and made more concise.
It's also unseemly of you to edit war about this issue. Your first removal was certainly ok; your second one - which reverted a completely different editor (me) who also added a significant new source - was not. Please consider following WP:BRD and self-reverting your most recent edit. ElKevbo (talk) 18:15, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that there is a "profound national impact". No change in laws or policies or anything. UNC has had plenty of scandals in the past. There's much special about this one that will make it notable enough for this article. Again, I encourage you to read WP:Recentism and Wikipedia:Advocacy. The status quo was the lack of inclusion of the content, meaning that the content should not be reinserted without consensus. Maybe a sentence or two about this topic in the History of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill article is appropriate.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 20:28, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with FutureTrillionaire. This "controversy" is a clear case of WP:Recentism and does not belong in an overview article about a 200+ year old university. Rreagan007 (talk) 20:51, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Have either of you read the cited articles about the national impact this has had on the policies of the Department of Education and colleges and universities across the country? Or the article cited a few paragraphs above where a student central to this story has been labeled one of the most influential in U.S. higher education this year? The focus is not so much on the specific incident(s) at UNC but how the attention on UNC's actions and policies are resulting in massive change across the country.
I agree that this doesn't merit more than a mention in this article but it seems contrary to the available evidence that this is completely omitted given the scale and scope of its lasting impact. ElKevbo (talk) 01:42, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
As further evidence, this news story from June and published in another reputable higher education news outlet opens with the statement:

If Andrea Pino hadn’t been drafted to help with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's search for the employee who would handle Title IX complaints, the national landscape of sexual assault activism might not look so dramatically different than it did just a year ago.

Combining this with the Chronicle coverage noted above, this provides crystal clear evidence that the nation's top higher education media outlets consider this incident to have had significant national impact. Why are Wikipedia editors discounting their opinions? The WP:UNDUE burden has been more than met. The material that was previously in the article may need to be edited or even refocused but to continue to omit it in the face of the multiple reliable sources outright stating that this has had widespread national impact goes against WP:N, one of our core policies. ElKevbo (talk) 01:53, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
A topic that meets the notability criteria is allowed to have its own article. This does not mean that a topic needs to be presented in an article about a different topic. If you want, you can create your own article about the controversy.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 02:38, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Are you advocating that all topics in this article that made a national impact should be removed from this article and placed in their own dedicated article without even a mention in this one? ElKevbo (talk) 02:48, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
You are looking at this whole thing from a very short-term perspective, which is causing you to place far too much emphasis on this incident merely because it occurred recently. 50 years from now, do you really think this information will be deemed significant enough in the history of this centuries-old university to be included in this Wikipedia article? There are enough controversies that took place at this university during the Civil War era alone to write an entire book on, and just about all of them are probably more significant and notable than this incident, and yet they are not included in this article. Rreagan007 (talk) 17:15, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I do believe that a sentence or two would be appropriate for this incident that has led and is continuing to lead to significant policy changes at a national level. This is similar to what is currently in Lehigh University given its role in precipitating the Clery Act (although that material needs to be trimmed down a bit and moved into the history section). I don't understand why this is so different from the other things in this article that describe how this university has had a broad national impact. It just seems damn odd that multiple reliable sources have very specifically described in detail how this has had a national impact but Wikipedia editors are instead employing their own judgment to essentially say "nuh uh!"
(I am also a bit wary that some people could want to omit this information because it's negative but thankfully that doesn't seem to be happening, at least not overtly.) ElKevbo (talk) 17:58, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
(Here because of an alert at WikiProject Universities.) I think this is worth a brief mention. Maybe it could be in the Student Life section and maybe it could concentrate more on what actually happened within UNC Chapel Hill rather than the ramifications. But it is important news relevant to higher education in the USA and other countries too. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:53, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

College athlete up-grading concerns[edit]

I noticed a couple of news stories (like this one) dealing with sports scholarship students supposedly getting inappropriately high grades at this university in particular. The university itself published a report it had received on similar issues in 2012, apparently in response to similar concerns raised the previous summer. The fact that the sources don't make a specific connection between what was apparently a recent (2014) incident and earlier incidents, and they seem to contradict each other (NewsBreaker claims UNC denies the claims of the whistleblower, but they also have a report indicating similar findings up on their website). The former governor (author of the report) claims the incidents his group found were isolated to the African-American Studies department, but the whistleblower apparently claimed this was university policy (although the one example was from an AFAM course).

I'm posting about this here because, under these circumstances, I'm really not comfortable adding this information to the article myself without further information/input from other users. I'm also not entirely sure this material (or other similar material) belongs in the article to begin with.

Has this been discussed here before? If not: thoughts?

126.0.96.220 (talk) 16:25, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Just noticed, the Julius Peppers article does mention an incident that came to light in August 2012. It's possible that when the above-mentioned report says "last summer" it meant "the summer of this year that just went by a few months ago" (where I come from "last summer", if written in December 2012, would more usually refer to the summer of 2011), in which case these incidents are the same. 126.0.96.220 (talk) 01:15, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
The information for the Afro-American Studies pro forma courses is in the "Rankings and reputation" section. I'm not sure what 2014 incident you're referring to, though. Mary Willingham, the "whistleblower", brought her claims in 2013 and the controversy has continued into 2014. This is a continuation of the same academic scandal that dates back to at least 1996 and broke in the news in the summer of 2012. Lara 03:59, 3 June 2014 (UTC)