South Carolina State University in Orangeburg Bruce SmithAP

After two years on probation, South Carolina State University, an HBCU in Orangeburg, S.C., has been removed from probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

“We are more than overjoyed with the news that SACSCOC has reaffirmed South Carolina State University’s accreditation by lifting probation. The end of the two-year probation indicates the university has made significant progress, having fully addressed the deficiencies for which the university was cited,” said SC State University Interim President Dr. W. Franklin Evans in a statement in June.

SACSCOC placed SC State on probation in 2014, citing deficiencies on nine accreditation standards. Within a year, the school had complied with all but four standards, all finance-related. By April of this year, the university was found to be in compliance in all areas except two, financial resources and financial stability. And, at the accrediting body’s June meeting, the university was able to offer convincing evidence that it had succeeded in meeting the outstanding requirements.

University Board Chairman Charles S. Way Jr. said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and the General Assembly played a pivotal role in shoring up the HBCU’s finances.

“Forgiveness of the $12 million loan, renegotiation of a $6 million loan and other special appropriations granted to the university by the state of South Carolina surely helped us get the ox out of the ditch. We are grateful for the state’s on-going support,” said Way.

Evans also thanked alumni and private and corporate donors, as well as faculty, staff and students for their “sacrifices.”

He said, “When I think about the level of support the university has received, it is just overwhelming. We could never say thank you enough.”

Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO