The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Board of Trustees voted to continue the accreditation of Florida Memorial University and place the university on Probation for Good Cause. The probation for Good Cause means that (1) the institution has demonstrated significant recent accomplishments in addressing non-compliance, and (2) the institution has provided evidence that makes it reasonable for the Board to assume it will remedy all deficiencies within a 12–month period.
The university was placed on probation for failure to demonstrate compliance with various standards of the Principles of Accreditation. These standards expect an institution to: (1) have a governing board that exercises fiduciary oversight of the institution; (2) manage its financial resources in a responsible manner; (3) exercise appropriate control over all its financial resources; and (4) that an institution (a) is in compliance with its program responsibilities under Title IV of the most recent Higher Education Act as amended, and (b) audits financial aid programs as required by federal and state regulations.
In a statement, Jaffus Hardrick, president of Florida Memorial University, explained that “the issues that led to this action occurred over numerous years of dealing with financial challenges, declining enrollment, and aging infrastructure. Unfortunately, COVID–19 impacted enrollment for academic year 2020, thus affecting overall revenue. As a result of our growth strategies, FMU is well on its way to resolving these issues. New enrollment initiatives, new academic programs, a focus on student life, enhanced infrastructure, the addition of new athletic programs, band, and certificate programs are already yielding positive results to stabilize and grow enrollment.”
After the announcement that the university was put on probation, faculty at the university sent a vote of “no confidence” in President Hardrick to the board of trustees.