Updated: 11:20 AM CST
Wilberforce University was notified today, November 12, 2015 by the governing body of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that accredits institutions of higher education that the Show-Cause Order placed on the institution on June 14, 2014 has been lifted. The Show-Cause order placed Wilberforce University under threat of losing its accreditation if the institution was not brought into compliance with the criteria and practices of the Higher Learning Commission.
The Higher Learning Commission has now placed Wilberforce under a standard path, meaning the school is now fully operating under best practices, consistent with all other institutions that are accredited by the rules and standards of the HLC.
About the decision
The HLC Board of Trustees based its action on the institution satisfactorily meeting all five of the Core Components under which the University was evaluated. The University submitted a 3,000 page Show-Cause Report on December 15, 2014, hosted a comprehensive site visit on April 20-22, 2015, and submitted an additional 700 pages of supplemental materials in October 2015 that addressed such issues as enrollment, infrastructure, and budget. HLC stated that “The Board finds the commitment to those challenges have been demonstrated.”
HLC also stated that “The Board and Wilberforce President, Algeania Warren Freeman, Ph.D., have developed working plans to achieve the goals of the institution. That is evidenced by interviews and Board meeting minutes, with senior administrators additionally supplementing those plans.”
Further, HLC noted that “The current administration has created realistic, financial projections which will help the University and its future plans. That was purposed by a pledged, unrestricted gift of $4 million, confirmed during a meeting with the AME Church.”
The HLC continued to find “…there is further compliance with bond covenants which were in technical default and now through meetings with administrators and trustees, there is demonstration that the institution’s financial situation is fully comprehended as well as the importance of ongoing financial analysis for effective and strategic future planning. That will include annual plans linked to budgets connected to the University’s strategic plan as well as a structured five year financial model.”
The HLC lauded the school’s “… progress in making changes to the physical plant and technological infrastructure and creating a schedule to address other maintenance issues.
Action taken by the University
The University has taken action that includes hiring a new financial aid director, developing new procedures to address financial aid issues and instituting a reconciliation process to handle issues.”
The accreditation agency has approved the Wilberforce Board of Trustees’ financial support through its giving campaign that has led to the improvement of the university’s finances.
The HLC finds the University has enhanced its student enrollment, expecting greater student population and even more robust growth in the academic year 2018.
ALGEANIA W. FREEMAN, PRESIDENT OF WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY, THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, FACULTY, STAFF, STUDENTS, ALUMNI, A.M.E. CHURCH, AND COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS ARE DEEPLY GRATEFUL TO EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED THEIR EFFORTS TO BRING WILBERFORCE UNIVERSITY INTO FULL COMPLIANCE WITH THE CRITERIA AND PRACTICES OF THE HIGHER LEARNING COMMISSION. SPECIAL APPRECIATION IS EXTENDED TO THE HIGHER LEARNING COMMISSION FOR HELPING THE INSTITUTION ACHIEVE ITS GOAL OF ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE SO THAT THE INSTITUTION CAN CONTINUE TO PREPARE GREAT LEADERS FOR THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY.
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