Local station KRGV and Inside Higher Ed report on what the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has done to get into hot water with the accreditation agency, SACS.
And it’s not just the “timing issue” that president Guy Bailey claimed it was.
The SACC Coordinator of Communications Pamela Cravey explained a few.
“For failure to comply with principle 1.1 integrity, comprehensive standard 3.4.4 acceptance of academic credit, comprehensive standard 3.4.7 consortia relationships contractual agreement,” she said.
Inside Higher Ed calls the list of shortcomings “unusually long.”
(T)o judge by SACS's laundry list of areas in which the new institution is falling short of the accreditor's requirements and standards, UT Rio Grande Valley appears to be a work in progress.
A spokeswoman for SACS cited a full 10 major areas in which the new Texas campus had faltered, including such basic things as assuring that it “operates with integrity in all areas.” Other areas of difficulty included complying with federal financial aid audits and ensuring that the institution's degrees are based on instruction it offers itself (rather than by other institutions).
My reaction might be summarized as: “Holy sh*t.” I mean, to be accused of a lack of integrity? Judging from the quote above, it appears to be section 1.1, which would make it literally the first thing on the list that universities are supposed to do. I have heard, but not confirmed, that there is a lower level of concern, “warning.” If there is, we kind of blew past that.
UTRGV is not the only university on the list, as Inside Higher Ed notes. There are nine others, but UTRGV is unusual in that it is part of a state university system, serves the most students, and was launched with very high goals of creating a new research university.
What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall of the University of Texas System board rooms these days.
At the start of the semester, the UT system was praising UTRGV for its first year, which it called “stellar.”
In the middle of the semester, we learn that the med school isn’t going well and UTRGV mispent millions of dollars.
At the end of the semester, we’re getting warning shots that our legitimacy as an institution is in question.
Update: The campus newspaper, The Rider, has published the full list of ten points of concern:
- Integrity (Principle 1.1)
- Acceptance of academic credits (Comprehensive standards 3.4.4)
- Consortial relationships/contractual agreements (Comprehensive standards 3.4.7)
- Institutional credits for a degree (Comprehensive standards 3.5.2)
- Institutional credits for a graduate degree (Comprehensive standards 3.6.3)
- Financial aid audits (Comprehensive standards 3.10.2)
- Substantive change (Comprehensive standards 3.12.1)
- Advertising, Student Recruitment, and Representation of Accredited Status policy compliance, (Comprehensive standards 3.13)
- Publication of accreditation status (Comprehensive standards 3.14.1)
- Recruitment materials (Federal requirement 4.6)
The Rider also reports the faculty senate will be meeting with the president soon.
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