Whistleblower Mary Willingham files lawsuit against UNC

Tuesday July 1st, 2014

Mary Willingham, the former reading tutor who blew the whistle on an academic fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, has filed a lawsuit against the university.

In the suit, which was filed late Monday in a North Carolina county court, Willingham says she was demoted and reassigned after voicing concerns about the university’s admittance of athletes unprepared to handle college work. The suit also says that Willingham, who announced her resignation in April, was provided with a "hostile work environment" and that she hopes to regain her position.

Willingham helped expose the university’s alleged steering of football and basketball players into bogus classes. Her research questioning the literacy level of UNC athletes was assailed by university provost Jim Dean and discredited by independent experts.

The NCAA on Monday notified UNC that it was reopening its investigation of academic irregularities at the university.

- Chris Johnson

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