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Saint Augustine’s Plans Lawsuit After Denied Accreditation Appeal

Saint Augustine’s Plans Lawsuit After Denied Accreditation Appeal

Diverse Education

Johnny Jackson
February 28, 2024
Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, plans to seek an injunction following its lost appeal to retain accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The commission’s appeals committee, on Feb. 27, upheld a decision to revoke accreditation for the historically Black university and deny an extension of “Probation for Good Cause” until December 2025. The HBCU’s accreditation was terminated in December 2023, as it struggled with financial management issues.
“We disagree with the decision made by SACSCOC and plan to appeal to a higher authority with evidence supporting the institution’s progress in resolving non-compliance,” said Dr. Marcus H. Burgess, interim president of Saint Augustine’s.
Saint Augustine’s argued in its appeal that significant steps were made to correct areas of non-compliance with SACS-COC standards and that the university had the capacity to remedy areas of non-compliance within the next 12 months.
In February, the university launched the Falcon Pride Initiative Fundraising Campaign, aimed at rallying support — upward of $5 million — from internal stakeholders, alumni, friends, neighbors, and the HBCU community to demonstrate financial solvency for preserving its accreditation.
“We fully dedicate ourselves to maintaining our accreditation and fostering an environment of academic excellence and opportunity for our students,” said Burgess.
The appeals committee responded, noting requirements and standards outlined in the “Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement,” including governing board characteristics, financial resources, financial documents, financial responsibility, control of finances, and federal and state responsibilities.
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