Valdosta Daily Times

National, International News

December 12, 2012

Scandals threaten FAMU’s accreditation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A series of scandals in the last year — including the hazing death of a drum major — is now threatening to cost Florida A&M University its academic reputation.

FAMU officials were told Tuesday that the regional accrediting organization was placing the school on probation for the next 12 months. The university has one year to prove it is turning itself around or it could have its accreditation revoked by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges.

If accreditation is revoked, students won’t be eligible for federal financial aid.

Interim President Larry Robinson stressed that the probation does not affect the current accreditation of academic programs, but he didn’t downplay the threat to the university either.

“It is not a slap on the wrist,” Robinson said. “We’ve got to take it very seriously.”

The announcement represents another blow to the institution, which has already been reeling in the aftermath of Robert Champion’s death following a football game in Orlando. The fallout has already led to the suspension of the famed Marching 100 band as well as the resignation of its long-time band director and FAMU’s president.

Champion’s death triggered a review by the regional accreditation organization, which sent a letter in June seeking for more information. FAMU officials say they responded and handed over 1,000 pages of documents detailing changes they have made.

But Robinson said the accrediting body still faulted the university on several fronts, including the integrity of the institution, because a former top auditor submitted false audit summaries to its board of trustees.

FAMU was also asked about the safety of its students in the wake of the Champion’s death. Additionally, the accrediting body also cited lax financial oversight after state investigators concluded that the university did not keep track of expenses and finances for the band.

This is the second time in the last decade that FAMU has been threatened with the loss of accreditation. Back in 2007 the university was placed on probation for a series of rule violations, most resulting from FAMU’s inability to account for millions of dollars of inventory and some contractual arrangements made without proper approval.

“This is serious. Continued accreditation is the lifeblood of any institution of higher education,” said Dean Colson, chairman of the state Board of Governors, which oversees the entire university system.

Robinson told members of his own board that he is convinced that the university has already taken steps to meet the concerns expressed by the accreditation organization.

But the problems come as FAMU is starting to search for a permanent successor to former President James Ammons in the next few months. Robinson said that the association will give FAMU a written report on its findings soon and then probably visit FAMU’s campus in six months.

———

Follow Gary Fineout on Twitter: http://twitter.com/fineout

 

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Valdosta Daily Times e-Edition, or our print edition

1
Text Only
National, International News
  • Dollar Tree-Family Do_Rich copy.jpg Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar

    The fight for penny pinchers is intensifying.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Mideast Israe_Rich copy.jpg Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges

    Israel and Hamas launched new attacks Sunday in the raging Gaza war, despite going back and forth over proposals for a temporary halt to nearly three weeks of fighting ahead of a major Muslim holiday.
    The failure to reach even a brief humanitarian lull in the fighting illustrated the difficulties in securing a more permanent truce as the sides remain far apart on their terms.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP81072904918 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP4507280123 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, July 28, 2014
    Today is Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year. 
     

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans’ health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 27, 2014

  • United States-Libya_Rich.jpg US evacuates embassy in Libya amid clashes

    The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said “free-wheeling militia violence” prompted the move.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP9607270692 copy.jpg Today in History for Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Today is Sunday, July 27, the 208th day of 2014. There are 157 days left in the year.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • No ticket for Shrek over loud musical, chief says

    A musical being performed in a New Hampshire park has drawn some noise complaints, but the deputy police chief says he’s “not giving Shrek a ticket.”

    July 26, 2014

  • Arizona Execution Dru_Rich copy.jpg Arizona’s McCain: Execution was torture

    U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine Plane_Rich copy.jpg US: Russia firing into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.
    Russia accused Washington of lying and charged Ukraine with firing across the border on a Russian village. It also toughened its economic measures against Ukraine by banning dairy imports.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results