Representation to Accrediting Agencies & Notification of Accreditation Status Changes

Applicable Employee Classes:Original Policy Date:Date of Last Review:Approved by:
Faculty, and employees December 7, 2021 December 7, 2021 Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, President

Policy Owner: Accreditation liason

Policy Purpose

Accreditation standards require that the university represent itself accurately to all US Department of Education (USDOE)-recognized accrediting agencies with which it holds accreditation and informs all appropriate agencies of change in accreditation status.  This policy ensures that the university represents itself consistently and accurately to all accrediting agencies and notifies them of the university’s accreditation status or any changes to that status.

Policy Scope

This policy applies to those who communicate with and all communications to any institutional or academic program accreditor.

Policy Statement

All communications with institutional or academic program accrediting agencies must represent the university accurately.  All formal communications with institutional or academic program accrediting agencies must be reviewed and approved by the Provost’s Office and SACSCOC accreditation liaison prior to submission.  All formal communications received from institutional or academic program accrediting agencies must be provided to the Provost’s Office and SACSCOC accreditation liaison for archival purposes and any required accreditation status change notification to the appropriate agencies.

Procedures/Guidelines

All communications with institutional or academic program accrediting agencies must be provided to the Provost’s Office and SACSCOC accreditation liaison prior to submission.   All self-studies or reaffirmation reports should be provided no later than two weeks before the submission date to allow time for review.  The SACSCOC accreditation liaison will ensure that the document represents the university accurately and consistently.  If edits are needed, the accreditation liaison will provide those to the submitter.  The Provost’s Office will review, provide any needed feedback, and approve when complete.

All formal correspondence from an institutional or academic program accreditor must be provided to the Provost’s Office and SACSCOC accreditation liaison.  Any time a unit is notified of a decision regarding accreditation status or a change in accreditation status, it must inform the Provost’s Office and SACSCOC accreditation liaison immediately.  The SACSCOC accreditation liaison will notify the President. 

If informed of any change or decision regarding accreditation or candidacy status with an institutional or academic program accreditor, the SACSCOC liaison will draft appropriate notification letter(s) to SACSCOC and/or all other USDOE-recognized accreditors with which the university holds accreditation or candidacy status.  The SACSCOC accreditation liaison will provide the letter to the President for review and approval.  Upon approval, the notification letter will be sent to SACSCOC and/or all other USDOE-recognized accreditors with which the university holds accreditation or candidacy status.

The President, or the President’s designee, will inform the board of trustees, university community, and any external constituents of any changes in accreditation status with SACSCOC.

Definitions

Changes or decisions in accreditation status may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • A decision to grant accreditation the first time the university seeks accreditation from the agency
  • A decision to deny accreditation or candidacy
  • A pending or final action brought by an accrediting agency to suspend, revoke, withdraw, or terminate the institution’s accreditation or candidacy
  • Change in a pending action by an accrediting agency to suspend, revoke, withdraw, or terminate the institution’s accreditation or candidacy
  • Probation or equivalent status imposed by an accrediting agency
  • A change in probation or equivalent status imposed by an accrediting agency (e.g., decision to grant accreditation, conditional accreditation, deny accreditation, or impose other sanctions)
  • Reaffirmation of programmatic accreditation

Compliance Reference

SACSCOC Principle 14.4 – Representation to other agencies

SACSCOC Policy Statement on Accrediting Decisions of Other Agencies

Responsibilities

Academic and administrative units that communicate with institutional or academic program accrediting agencies or those who receive communications from such agencies are responsible for providing those materials to the Provost’s Office and SACSCOC accreditation liaison as described in the policy statement and procedure. 

The SACSCOC accreditation liaison is responsible for reviewing communications for accuracy of institutional representation and for coordinating appropriate notifications of accreditation decisions or changes as described in the policy statement and procedure. 

The Provost’s Office is responsible for final approval of all communication with institutional or academic program accrediting agencies. 

The President’s Office is responsible for informing the board of trustees, university community, and any other external constituents of any changes in accreditation status with SACSCOC.

Enforcement

Failure to follow this policy risks university accreditation and violates university compliance obligations and therefore may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination.