Tallahassee, Fla. – 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.”
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President of FAMU’s National Alumni Association Comments on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) December 11 Decision
Tallahassee, Fla. – “First let me say, that I am ecstatic with the progress, Dr. James H. Ammons, our Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students have made in such a short period of time,” said Dr. Alvin Bryant, president of Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) National Alumni Association. “For the first time in almost three years, the State Auditor General's office has given FAMU's finances a clean bill of health. Alumni across the country are proud of their hard work and efforts. Many said it could not be done, but Dr. Ammons and his team have proven otherwise.
Secondly, I would like to comment on the decision from SACS. FAMU is stronger today than it has been in over two years. Our financial records are in order. The decision of SACS is motivation to continue making progress in the areas cited. We will take this recommendation as a challenge and an opportunity to continue moving forward. The work accomplished to get us here, thus far, speaks volumes of the integrity, team-work, and manpower exhibited by Dr. Ammons and his staff. This is yet another example that it's a new day at FAMU. We are committed to moving forward and exceeding the recommendation as set forth by SACS. The alumni of this university stand ready to assist Dr. Ammons.”
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