Wed December 10, 2003
Two Universities Placed on Probation
By Alabama Public Radio
Auburn and Livingston, AL – Auburn University was placed on 12-months probation yesterday by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The association is responsible for granting accreditation. It nearly revoked that accreditation because of micromanagement by Auburn's board of trustees. Probation is one step below SACS' most serious punishment where a college's accreditation is revoked. A loss of accreditation would have meant the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid for Auburn and its students.
The punishment followed a two-year investigation, which reeported five problems. Most of them were related to the school's board of trustees.
Meanwhile, SACS handed down a similar punishment to the University of West Alabama, which was also placed on 12-month probation because its board members were micromanaging university operations.
West Alabama had its accreditation renewed last year on the condition that it resolved management issues. Earlier this year, West Alabama's board of trustees split into two factions, both claiming to be the valid trustee board.
Preston Minus, chairman of the majority faction of the board, says West Alabama will fight the probation, possibly through a multi-million dollar lawsuit.