Tuesday, December 11, 2007


The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Commission on Colleges’ (COC) voted today to continue to accredit Florida A&M University (FAMU), but extended the university’s probation for six months. This recommendation, from the COC’s Executive Council, went before the full commission today in New Orleans.

University officials received a clean audit on Friday and believed it would have significantly impacted the outcome. The FAMU audit did not reach the COC’s Criteria and Reports Committee in time for its deliberation. This committee made the recommendation to the executive committee. The audit was a critical document that was required to show evidence of FAMU’s financial position. Auditor General’s Office worked with FAMU so the final audit could be submitted before the SACS meeting. Under normal circumstances, the audit may have been completed in December or as late as February 2008. The Commission on Colleges authorized a committee visit to the campus in April 2008 to review the audit and verify that the corrective actions have been implemented. SACS will make a decision regarding FAMU’s probationary status during its June 2008 meeting. The Executive Council acknowledged the report submitted by the special committee visiting team and the progress made at FAMU.

No new areas of non-compliance were cited by SACS. The core requirements the committee will review in April include:

2.11.1 Financial Resources
The institution has a sound financial base and demonstrated financial stability to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services.

3.10.1 Financial Stability
The institution’s recent financial history demonstrates financial stability.

3.10.2 Submission of Financial Statements
The institution provides financial profile information on an annual basis and other measures of financial health as requested by the Commission. All information is presented accurately and appropriately and represents the total operation of the institution.

3.10.3 Financial Aid Audits
The institution audits financial aid programs as required by federal and state regulations.

3.10.4 Control of Finances
The institution exercises appropriate control over all its financial resources.

3.10.5 Control of Sponsored Research/External Funds
The institution maintains financial control over externally funded or sponsored research and programs.

3.11.1 Control of Physical Resources
The institution exercises appropriate control over all its physical resources.

3.2.8 Qualified Administrative/Academic Officers
The institution has qualified administrative and academic officers with the experience, competence, and capacity to lead the institution.

4.7 Title IV Program Responsibilities
The institution is in compliance with its program responsibilities under Title IV of the 1998 Higher Education Amendments. (In reviewing the institution’s compliance with these program responsibilities, the Commission relies on documentation forwarded to it by the U.S. Secretary of Education.)

“This decision was very disappointing in light of our efforts,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “We did everything humanly possible in the last five months to turn this situation around. I am proud of the work of my leadership team and the support we received from key individuals throughout this process. We were responsible for the university receiving its first clean audit in three years and implementing a corrective-action plan that significantly improved the university’s fiscal affairs. Even with this decision, we will remain optimistic about FAMU’s future and continue the steadfast pursuit of excellence."


Anonymous said...

I'm extremely dissappointed of SACS decision to keep us on probation. What more did they expect us to do?

Anonymous said...

Even though we are disappointed in the outcome, this will only strengthen us for the next round. We know that in six months all of the necessary financial documents (and related documentation) will be submitted in a timely manner and that there will be no reason for the school to be denied. I think Dr. Ammons' team has done a tremendous job and knows what absolutely needs to be done. I think we will prevail at the next SACS meeting in June. Good job, Dr. Ammons! Rome wasn't built in a day.

Anonymous said...

Rome wasn't built in a day, and it took Castell & Corbin nearly 4 years to bring us to our knees, yet still we continue to rise !