27 Feb 2024

SAU Continues Its Fight to Preserve Accreditation

On Tuesday, February 20, Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) appeared before the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Appeals Committee. The case placed before them was to consider a reversal of the decision to remove Saint Augustine’s University from SACSCOC membership on December 3, 2023.

During the appeal, Saint Augustine’s University argued that the Board’s decision was arbitrary, that is, was unreasonable and not based on, or consistent with, the published Principles of Accreditation or policies of SACSCOC. SAU provided evidence to support its position in a brief submitted on Tuesday. February 6 and during the February 20 hearing. 

Despite testimony and evidence supporting a case for significant improvement and the potential to remedy deficiencies, SACSCOC decided to uphold its decision to remove SAU from membership and denied an extension of Probation for Good Cause until December 2025. 

Attorneys representing Saint Augustine’s University have planned to file an injunction requesting that courts weigh in on this case. During that injunction, SAU’s SACSCOC accreditation remains in place. 

While SAU Leadership is understandably disappointed in the SACSCOC decision, the President and his team look forward to continuing this fight in court. 

“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 SAU Interim President Dr. Marcus H. Burgess. “We will move quickly to file a lawsuit against SACSCOC seeking an injunction that, if granted, will allow Saint Augustine’s University to remain accredited with SACSCOC on Probation for Good Cause until the conclusion of litigation.”

Despite this outcome, SAU seeks to extend its accreditation through the legal process to continue offering outstanding academic programs and services. The University will continue to strengthen its financial processes and fiscal resources. SAU looks forward to making the case for full compliance with all of the SACSCOC standards. 

Click here to read more of SAU’s SACSCOC Updates.