SC State President Thomas Elzey: SACS accreditation is No. 1 priority

Published: Aug. 21, 2014 at 12:30 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2017 at 4:10 PM EDT
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SC State's Board of Trustees met Wednesday to discuss SACS accreditation.
SC State's Board of Trustees met Wednesday to discuss SACS accreditation.

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - South Carolina State University President Thomas Elzey is planning a visit to Atlanta in the coming days to visit officials with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to discuss the Orangeburg school's ongoing probationary status.

Calling the situation his "number one" priority, Elzey will take an 18-member task force with him on Friday in an effort to engage SACS and avoid losing accreditation.

"We've created a balanced budget, we're maintaining our costs, we're managing our costs, we're managing our operations, so we anticipate that we'll be able to tell SACS that we're doing what's necessary to create financial stability for the university going forward," said Elzey.

Declining enrollment at South Carolina State has been a talking point for several months now. Yet when it comes to attracting more kids in the future, being an accredited school carries a lot of weight.

SACS placed SC State on probation in June, citing the university's ongoing financial issues that have plagued the school for years.

It's a sanction that's one step shy of the university losing its accreditation altogether That action would make SC State students ineligible for federal financial aid and keep the school off limits to federal grant opportunities.

The university itself may be re-evaluated for accreditation sometime in the spring.

University officials say its accreditation is still in place barring any further setbacks with SACS, but they do worry that the probationary status could affect student recruitment.

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