Hampton University, the historically Black educational institution in Virginia, has filed a lawsuit against the American Council for Pharmacy Education. Earlier this year, the accrediting body withdrew the accreditation of the pharmacy doctorate program at the university. The university appealed the decision which was denied. The university is now going to court in an effort to rescue the doctoral program and asked for a temporary injunction that would continue the program’s accreditation while the litigation runs its course. This request was denied.
The lawsuit claims that the decision to revoke the accreditation of the pharmacy doctoral program resulted from a process that “can only be described as a bizarrely contradictory and Kafkaesque bureaucratic process rife with bias and revenge.” The complaint goes on to say that if this “arbitrary action is not reversed, then the accrediting agency will have unilaterally terminated an extremely important community-oriented pharmacy program at one of the nation’s premier historically Black colleges and universities during a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted those communities which the Hampton University School of Pharmacy serves.”
One of the problems is a low passage rate for Hampton students on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination. In 2018, only 73 percent of Hampton graduates passed the examination on their first try. This was the seventh-lowest rate in the country among the 130 accredited pharmacy schools. The national average was an 89 percent success rate. Hampton has made progress in this regard, the NAPLEX pass rate had been below 60 percent in 2016. The accrediting agency also pointed out that the doctoral program had a very high attrition rate, reaching as high as three times the national average.