ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina State University, which has been battling financial problems and has had to seek a loan from the state, has now seen its accreditation status downgraded.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission of Colleges said Thursday the school has been placed on probation after being warned last year.
The association says the university has failed to comply with requirements related to a number of issues, mostly dealing with finances and supervision.
Association president Belle Wheelan said probation lasts 12 months. To get off probation, the university will need to demonstrate that it has enough money to operate and ensure that the people who are hired are qualified.
The state Budget and Control Board earlier approved a $6 million loan for the school to deal with its oldest bills.
South Carolina State president Thomas Elzey thinks the probation will be temporary. He said he has only received basic information from the accrediting organization and that the school will receive a letter next month with specific details.
“Once we get the details, we will put together a strategy and plan,” he said, adding, “I’m an optimist. I work hard. I don’t want to accept there’s a mountain I can’t climb, a wall I can’t get over.”
He said he has been working for a year to stabilize the university’s finances and while it hasn’t been easy, progress has been made. He said the university to continue to work with the state on its finances.
“We are adamant in our commitment to working with Gov. Nikki Haley and state lawmakers to receive a much-needed budgetary aid package currently being considered by state lawmakers,” he said.
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