In wake of scandal, UNC hires director to oversee ethics

Kim Strom-Gottfried
Kim Strom-Gottfried Courtesy of UNC-Chapel Hill

UNC-Chapel Hill has hired one of its own professors to oversee ethics policies following the academic and athletic scandal.

Kim Strom-Gottfried will be the director of ethics education and policy management starting Aug. 1. She now holds a distinguished professorship in ethics and professional practice at UNC’s School of Social Work.

Strom-Gottfried will coordinate ethics and integrity efforts and lead policy management practices. She will make $198,636 annually.

The job is a newly created cabinet-level position recommended by two internal working groups that examined ethics and procedures in the aftermath of the 2014 Wainstein Report.

That report detailed the scandal that stretched for 18 years in which 3,100 students – about half of them athletes – took African and Afro-American studies classes that never met, only required a final paper and resulted in high grades. Several employees were fired after the release of the report.

Chancellor Carol Folt said Thursday that Strom-Gottfried would be an advocate for resources dedicated to ethics, helping coordinate and promote ethics programs across the campus.

In reporting on the hire to trustees Thursday, Folt said Strom-Gottfried has perfect qualifications for the new role.

“She has been active in so many ways across the faculty, and we’re just really excited that she’s going to be joining us,” Folt said.

The university has created a digital portal to 1,600 policies relating to ethics, policies and procedures. Auditing those rules and making them clear to people will be one role for Strom-Gottfried.

Folt said the comprehensive policy effort is unusual for universities.

“I don’t know of many places, or any, actually, that have actually tried to say, ‘We’re going to consolidate this into an office that is really working cross-institution to streamline it, make it very clear and then use that to improve it,’ ” she said. “That’s the goal.”

Strom-Gottfried was interim dean of social work from 2000 to 2001. She was the director of an academic leadership program for UNC’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities from 2008 until June.

She received a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University, a master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Maine

Jane Stancill: 919-829-4559, @janestancill