University officials committed to keeping FAMU community fully informed of developments related to SACS and its accreditation
Florida A&M University (FAMU) officials were notified late last week that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) had placed the University on a probationary status for six months. This is a serious development and we want the facts to be known.
First and foremost, it is important to know that Florida A&M University remains accredited by SACS. Even though SACS has taken this action, the University will be allowed to address all areas of concern that have led to this probationary status. During this period, all of FAMU’s academic programs remain intact, all the services offered by the University will be continued and students will be eligible to apply for and receive federal financial aid.
It is also important to note that, on July 2, Dr. James H. Ammons begins his tenure as the 10th president of this great institution of higher learning. Dr. Ammons, a FAMU alumnus and former chancellor of North Carolina Central University, is an accomplished leader who has an extensive background in higher education. He has served as a SACS commissioner and has led various accreditation review teams on other campuses. His record of handling financial issues is outstanding, which will help us to address one of the major concerns cited by SACS.
“I am extremely confident that our new president will provide us with the leadership needed in the coming months to remove this sanction from the University,” said Larry Robinson, chief executive officer.
Sometime this week, we expect SACS to issue a public notice of this sanction, which is not an additional action, but the formal notice to the University. At this time, the University knows that SACS has cited 10 areas of non-compliance. (Below is a copy of those areas of non-compliance.) Once the official notice is received, the University will hold a press conference where administrators – including Dr. Ammons – will discuss the specifics of the action plan that will resolve the SACS’ concerns as soon as possible.
As a University, let us assure you that, in the coming months, we will devote every available resource to becoming fully compliant with SACS and putting this matter behind us. Already, University and state officials have worked to address many of the financial-management issues that have been reported in recent news coverage. Their work can only lead us to lasting improvements that will make us an even stronger FAMU. The University will keep all its stakeholders informed along the way. For current, up-to-date information, continue to visit www.famu.edu or call toll-free 1-877-326-6397 (1-877-FAMUNEWS).
Florida A&M University is still the No. 1 university for African Americans in the nation, as cited by Black Enterprise. In addition, FAMU is still the No. 1 producer of African Americans with baccalaureate degrees. The University is also among the top producer of black pharmacists, physicists and educators in the country.
Finally, we acknowledge that the action by SACS is extremely serious. University administrators are confident that these issues will be resolved. Please know that University administrators will let nothing deter them from continuing to be one of the best institutions of higher education in the nation.
AREAS OF NON-COMPLIANCE AT FAMU
2.2: The board is an active policymaking body for the institution and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the financial resources of the institution are adequate to provide a sound educational program.
2.11.1: 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: The institution’s recent financial history demonstrates financial stability.
Submission of Financial Statements
3.10.2: Provides financial profile information on an annual basis and other measures of financial health as requested by the commission.
Financial Aid Audits
3.10.3: Audits financial aid programs as required.
Control of Finances
3.10.4: Exercises appropriate control over all its financial resources.
Control of Sponsored Research/External Funds
3.10.5: Maintains financial control over externally funded or sponsored research and programs.
Control of Physical Resources
3.11.1: Exercises appropriate control over all its physical resources.
Qualified administrative/academic officers
3.2.8: Has qualified administrative and academic officers.
Title IV Program Responsibilities
4.7: Is in compliance with its program responsibilities under Title IV of the 1998 Higher Education Amendments.
Updated: June 27, 2007
Letter to Current Students
June 24, 2007
Dear FAMU Student:
We received news late last week that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has placed our university, Florida A&M, on probation for six months. This is a serious development that warrants further explanation and discussion with you.
First and foremost, it is important for you to know that Florida A&M University remains accredited by SACS. Even though the accrediting body has taken this action, we will be allowed to address all of the areas of concern that have led to this probationary status. During this period, all of the services offered by the university will be continued and you will be eligible to apply for federal financial aid.
It is also important to note that, on July 2, Dr. Ammons will begin his tenure as the 10th president of this great institution of higher learning. Dr. Ammons is an accomplished leader who has an extensive background with SACS; he has served as a SACS commissioner and has led various accreditation review teams on other campuses. His record of his handling financial issues is outstanding– which will help us with one of the major concerns of SACS. Our new president will provide us with the leadership needed in the coming months to regain our full accreditation status.
We expect SACS to issue a public sanction sometime this week; this is not an additional action, but the formal notice to the university. What we know at this time is that SACS has cited 10 areas of non-compliance. (A copy of those areas of non-compliance is attached).
Let us assure you that, in the coming months, we will devote every available resource to becoming fully compliant with SACS. The Board of Governors Task Force, the FAMU Board of Trustees and the FAMU Leadership Team have already begun to work internally to address some of the financial-management issues that have been reported in recent news coverage. The work now under way can only lead us to lasting improvements that will make us a stronger FAMU. We will keep you informed along the way. (For current, up-to-date information, visit www.famu.edu )
As a FAMU student, we want you to remain steadfast and comforted in knowing that FAMU is a viable institution that continues to provide a teaching and learning experience like no other. Our programs remain strong. Our graduates continue to excel in all fields of endeavor and make us proud. Our commitment of “Excellence With Caring” is unwavering.
Finally, please know that we will let nothing deter us from continuing to be one of the best institutions of higher education in the nation. We will continue to produce outstanding, successful students like you. We wish you much success in the future.
Larry Robinson, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer