Today the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) announced that Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) accreditation has been reaffirmed for a 10-year period with no further reports required and no recommendations.
“We are proud of the work of our accrediting team and the campus community,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “Two years ago scathing financial audits hinted toward fiscal instability and uncertainty at FAMU. We have met our challenges, completed the accrediting process and are focusing our energies on creating a 21st Century Learning Center second to none. We have been through some challenging times and it is ironic that at the SACS annual meeting this year we were the presenters this time, telling others how to weather the storm. I can truly say that achieving this milestone was a team effort and confirms the academic and administrative strength of the university.”
Within days before Ammons’ arrival, the SACSCOC announced that it was placing FAMU on a six-month probationary period, the organization’s most serious sanction, aside from withdrawing accreditation. During this same period, FAMU was undergoing the re-accreditation process which was pushed back a year so that the university could make sure it addressed the issues related to the probation — compliance with core standards related to financial and governance issues. Without accreditation, FAMU students would not be able to receive federal financial aid – something more than 80 percent of students receive.
With the public’s trust in the university wavering, Ammons and his leadership team took the reigns in July 2007 with a tough task ahead. However, after numerous hours of work by staff, there was a sign of better days ahead for FAMU.
In December 2007, the State of Florida Auditor General reported that FAMU had received its first unqualified audit in three years. This was a clear sign of the restored fiscal integrity of the institution, but it was not the last.
The true symbol of FAMU’s resurgence as a fiscally responsible and credible institution came in June 2008 when the SACSCOC announced its decision to remove FAMU from probation.
With probation lifted and a clean fiscal bill of health, the FAMU leadership team only had to focus on reaffirmation of accreditation from the SACSCOC.
“We had a very competent staff and we are pleased with the outcome,” said C. William Jennings, chair of the FAMU Board of Trustees. “This is yet another great milestone achieved under Dr. Ammons’ administration.”
FAMU has been accredited by the SACSCOC since 1935. FAMU achieved a significant first by becoming the first historically black institution to become a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
SACSCOC is the recognized regional accrediting body in 11 Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees. The Commission on Colleges is the representative body of the College Delegate Assembly and is charged with carrying out the accreditation process.