FAMU President Addresses Students on University's Probationary Status

Tallahassee, FL - FAMU's interim president addressed faculty, students, and staff today in the wake of the university being placed on probation.

FAMU's accreditation probation was announced Tuesday. The interim president wasted no time to make sure everyone was informed and on the same page by Wednesday.

FAMU Interim President Dr. Larry Robinson wanted to personally address faculty, students, and staff about the university being on accreditation probation for one year.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges--known as SACSCOC--made the announcement Tuesday.

During a campus town hall meeting Wednesday, Dr. Robinson reiterated: "This institution remains fully accredited by the Southern Association during this process."

Dr. Robinson told the audience of about 300, that SACS identified four issues that FAMU will work on over the next 12 months:
1.) Principle of Integrity, which Dr. Robinson says is concerns based on internal audits that were not appropriately done in previous years.
2.) Qualified administrators and academic officers.
3.) Control of finances.
4.) Environment, referring to hazing issues, and the health and safety of everyone on campus.

Faculty member Clyde Ashley, says, "We the faculty, staff, and students want you and the world to know that we will address these issues and you have our total support."

Dr. Robinson says, "All of us can play a role in convincing SACS and anyone else that we have the capacity, the continued capacity at this university to excel in all endeavors."

Dr. Robinson says he will continue to keep everyone informed throughout the entire accreditation process. Information can be found on the front page of www.famu.edu.

One student stood up at the town hall meeting and said, "I thought we already cleared this up in the time it mattered that it happened."

Dr. Larry Robinson says it doesn't matter when things happened, the focus now is clearing them up within 12 months.

FAMU Student Charles Garner says, "I am fully confident in the leadership of my university. I understand that the probationary status is somewhat detrimental to our reputation. But, I'm a firm believer that there's no elevation without complication."

Dr. Robinson told students that the probation does not impact scholarships, financial aid, or degrees.

One student asked about hazing issues, saying, "It feels like it's a lot of crying wolf going on. How are y'all working to fix that because it's kind of like, it's not a joke, but it kind of is in ways in how every little thing is being called hazing."

Dr. Robinson says he is concerned about the impact of hazing on enrollment, saying that enrollment has gone down by about 1,000 students this fall. He says enrollment declined from about 13,000 to 12,000 students. He says that is a loss of about $6 million for the university in tuition and fees.

The full report by SACS is expected in January.


ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Places FAMU on One-Year Probation
FAMU to Remain Accredited During Process

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) announced today that it will continue Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) accreditation and place the university on probation for a one-year period.

“It is important to emphasize that FAMU remains an accredited institution, even while under the probation sanction from SACSCOC,” said FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson. “We are committed to addressing the areas of concern, and ensuring that FAMU is compliant with all SACSCOC accreditation standards. Our students will continue to receive a first-class education from FAMU.”

The decision from SACSCOC comes after a series of correspondence between SACSCOC and the university. On June 25, 2012, SACSCOC sent a letter to FAMU seeking information regarding issues surfacing as a result of the November 19, 2011, hazing incident in Orlando. The areas of concern cited by SACSCOC were academic policies, student rights, control of finances, and institutional environment.

SACSCOC asked the university to document its policies governing student and non-student eligibility to participate in university-sanctioned activities, to provide information on pending investigations and to submit information about the policies in place to protect student safety when participating in university-sanctioned events.

In July 2012, FAMU submitted a detailed report in response to the letter. On August 24, 2012, SACS confirmed receipt of the response and notified the university that its Committee on Compliance and Reports will review the material at its December 2012 meeting.

FAMU is expecting an official letter from SACSCOC within the next week, and a full report at some point in January 2013 to provide further details regarding the sanction. FAMU has, however, been working diligently to address the concerns expressed earlier by SACSCOC and has also put measures in place to bolster its anti-hazing efforts, including new policies, academic requirements and educational components.

FAMU has established a toll-free line for individuals who may have additional questions regarding the decision. The number is 1-877-326-6397.


Tallahassee, FL - FAMU Interim President Dr. Larry Robinson is addressing students, faculty, and staff. He is explaining the decision by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) that it will continue Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) accreditation and place the university on probation for a one-year period.

Dr. Robinson says audit and safety issues led to the probation.
The full report by SACSCOC has not been released yet. The final report is expected January 2013.

Members of the SACSCOC leadership team are at the town hall meeting.
About 300 people are present in Lee Hall Auditorium at FAMU.
Audience members have the opportunity to ask Dr. Robinson questions and express their concerns.


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