This past July, historically Black Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens was placed on “probation for good cause” by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. (See JBHE post.)
Earlier, this month the accrediting agency outlined steps the university must take to remain accredited. The statement issued by the accreditor read in part:
“FMU’s leadership team and board of trustees have held meetings with SACSCOC and the United Negro College Fund consultants, who have extensive experience dealing with accreditation matters in higher education. Additionally, the university engaged with Gray Associates, a leading strategy consulting firm, which utilizes a data-driven process to optimize course and program offerings. Their assessment revealed that FMU has a number of programs with extremely low enrollment. Based on the recommendations of SACSCOC and external consultants, the university must consider consolidating, revamping, and/or eliminating some of the current degree programs that are underperforming.”
As a result, the university has now announced that it is discontinuing 18 low enrollment, underperforming degree programs, which will result in the elimination of 15 faculty positions (eight current and seven vacant). In addition, salaries of those administrators making $60,000 or more will be reduced by 10 percent. This pay cut will also be applied to some faculty members. The administration has implemented a hiring freeze in non–critical areas, reduced university–wide travel, and cut department budgets by up to 30 percent, effective immediately.