Director of academic counseling resigns after job restructuring

Patrick Hayes

John Blanchard, University director of academic counseling and student services, announced his resignation Aug. 23, effective in early October, citing personal reasons.
Blanchard was hired in January 1999 just before the men’s basketball academic scandal broke. He served as the University of North Carolina’s director of academic counseling before coming to the University.
His position was restructured after University investigators found widespread academic violations within the men’s basketball program.
Originally, Blanchard reported directly to the athletics department. After the restructuring, he reported to the provost’s office.
Faced with the challenge of reestablishing the credibility of the academic counseling office this year, Blanchard said he lost interest in the job.
“The job changed with the scandal … and it became more of a rebuilding process than I had signed on for,” Blanchard said in a interview.
“It’s a different nature of work than maintaining and improving the program. I felt it would be best if I made a change,” he added.
Blanchard said he wasn’t unhappy with the restructuring of his position, but instead said reporting to the provost would be good for the program’s credibility.
Craig Swan, vice president for undergraduate education, said Blanchard’s job was not endangered during the academic scandal and said he would be missed.
“The provost and myself had and have full confidence in John’s ability to help us deal with the situation,” Swan said. Blanchard said he had thought about leaving his position for a few months and decided recently it would be best if he returned to North Carolina.
Contemplating a career change, Blanchard said he will continue to work in higher education, but not in academic counseling. Swan met with University officials Wednesday to discuss the situation and a possible replacement.
Blanchard said he would assist in any way he could.
“I think we’re going to overcome (the scandal) and I think people here are going to be very successful,” Blanchard added.

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