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The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, the regional accrediting agency that oversees many HBCUs in the South, has updated the accreditation status of two Alabama schools.

Alabama State University was removed from warning status by the agency, also known as SACSCOC, after allaying concerns about their finances.

“In my first year here, we cut $25 million from our budget to set a new normal for our University, and they wanted to see how we were going to be able to function with a $25 million dollar cut and still be able to maintain the University,” President Gwendolyn E. Boyd said in a statement. “We were able to do that. It was extremely hard and was very difficult, but we were able to do that. Now, everyone understands that this is our new normal, and we can’t go back.”

However, fellow Alabama HBCU, Tuskegee University, has had its warning status extended for another year. The institution was placed on warning status for its lack of compliance in four areas, with board governance being the chief source of concern.  Though four of the eight compliance areas were satisfied over the past 12 months, the school still had to meet requirements in the areas of Institutional effectiveness in educational programs, financial stability, financial aid audits, and federal Title IV Program responsibilities.

“Tuskegee University was well aware that the warning from SACSCOC would likely continue for two years,” Tuskegee University President Dr. Brian L. Johnson said in a statement. “Nevertheless, the university has implemented several significant changes in both its governance model and its fiscal operations that we are quite confident that SACSCOC will look favorably upon in June 2017 in the run up to the institution’s decennial reaffirmation of accreditation process, which begins September 2017 with the submission of the compliance report.”

The Southern Association’s actions on the Alabama schools were among several taken in their June meeting that affected HBCUs. The AFRO previously reported that South Carolina State University had been released from a two-year probation and the Association also voted to revoke the accreditation of Paine College in Georgia after the school failed to prove its financial stability.

Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO