Accrediting Agency Places Saint Augustine’s University on Probation

The Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges recently voted to place historically Black St. Augustine’s University on accreditation probation for a year. The university had previously been on probation from 2016 to 2018.

The SACSCOC Board of Trustees determined that the institution failed to demonstrate compliance with the Principles of Accreditation, regarding governing board characteristics, financial resources, financial documents, financial responsibility, control of finances, and federal and state responsibilities. A committee will visit the university in August 2023 to determine what progress has been made in correcting the concerns raised by the board. In December, the board will vote on whether to remove the university from probation, continue the probation for another year, or to revoke accreditation.

Colleges and universities that lose accreditation are no longer able to participate in federal student loan or grant programs. St. Augustine’s will remain fully accredited during the ongoing review process.

In response to the accrediting agency’s action, Christine Johnson McPhail, president of St. Augustine’s University issued a statement that said:

“During the last two years, we have taken unprecedented action to protect and advance the fiscal health of Saint Augustine’s University. These efforts are reflected in the significant progress in areas such as increased enrollment, increased alumni and employee giving, increased grant activity, increased endowments, reduced student debt, improved upward mobility of graduates, and year-end balanced budgets. In addition, the university has increased the number of student internships, external partnerships, and strategic partnerships and alliances. While we are disappointed with the decision made by the SASCOC Board, we are not discouraged; the entire SAU community has renewed our commitment to fulfill our vision and stay the course to complete our mission. We look forward to collaborating with SASCOC during this year to demonstrate that we have addressed the noncompliance issues.”

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