DEC. 6 — At the annual meeting of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in Dallas, Texas, the SACSCOC Board of Trustees voted last evening to continue Saint Augustine’s University’s accreditation for good cause.
In January 2018, the University will be notified by official letter of its continued accreditation and that institution will be placed on probation to give the University time to continue improvement before a Special Committee of SACSCOC further reviews the institution’s financial stability again in the fall of 2018.
“I am pleased the University has been given additional time to remove the sanction status altogether and continue its ongoing turnaround strategy,” said Dr. Everett B. Ward, Saint Augustine’s president. “Our recent audit reflects a debt reduction of over $1 million, which represents a significant shrinkage of our deficit. This fall we had an increase in freshman enrollment and over the last year we witnessed an increase in donor giving. Though not out of the woods, we are undoubtedly in a better position today than we were two years ago.”
Dr. Ward added that the turnaround strategy is benefiting from the enormous support from alumni, The Episcopal Church and friends of the University.
Financial stability has been a priority of Dr. Ward’s administration since his appointment as interim president in April 2014. The administration has a plan in place to address all of the concerns raised by SACSCOC and will continue to work to strengthen the University’s financial landscape.
“The Saint Augustine’s University Board of Trustees stands behind President Ward and is working hard in partnership with the institution’s administration to continue to make improvements,” said Rev. Dr. Hilton Smith, chairman of the University Board of Trustees. “The issues raised by SACSCOC are centered on finances and we are confident that these issues are being sufficiently addressed. The Board of Trustees and the University’s leadership team have the same goals, to take Saint Augustine’s University to higher heights, while preserving the University’s history.”
The decision by SACSCOC continues the status of Saint Augustine’s University as a fully accredited institution. The Very Reverend Canon Lang Lowrey, of The Episcopal Church, stated that The Episcopal Church will do “everything possible to work with university leadership to address the sanctions.”