Accrediting Agency Hands Down Decisions on Four HBCUs

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools recently handed down several decisions relating to the accreditation of several historically Black colleges and universities.

Elizabeth City State University had been placed on warning status last year due to problems with admissions and finances. But this year, the warning status was removed. The commission was satisfied that the university had addressed it concerns.

Two HBCUs will remain on probation for a second year. Colleges and universities can remain on probation for only two years. Thus next December, the schools on probation for a second year will be stripped of their accreditation if they have not addressed the commission’s concerns.

St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, will remain on probation for another year. The commission remained concerned about the university’s finances and institutional effectiveness. The university stated that enrollments are up slightly and that the university’s debt had been reduced by $1 million.

Bennett College in Greensboro will also remain on accreditation probation. The commission is concerned with the college’s financial resources and financial stability. Since 2010, the college’s enrollments have dropped by 40 percent, but rose slightly this year. The college has had operating deficits for the past three years but these deficits have shrunk and alumni giving is up. “We’re not going to close,” Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, president of Bennett College said. “We’re not even thinking that way.”

Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, was placed on probation by the commission due to financial stability and control of finances. In a statement, the university noted “we are not daunted by the denial of our reaffirmation and see this as an opportunity for continuous quality improvement which will result in even greater institutional effectiveness. This university will continue providing higher education access to highly talented and motivated students today and well into the 21st century.”

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