Local News

Panel Upholds Stripping St. Andrews of Accreditation

Posted August 29, 2007 1:53 a.m. EDT
Updated August 29, 2007 6:51 a.m. EDT

— An appeals panel upheld the decision to strip St. Andrews Presbyterian College, in Laurinburg, of its accreditation.

The appeals panel found that "the decision regarding the College's ongoing membership was neither arbitrary nor unreasonable," according to a statement issued by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The ruling means that St. Andrew's accreditation status ended as of Thursday, Aug. 23. No further appeals by the college are allowed.

St. Andrews had enjoyed probationary accreditation status while its petition against the original June 21 termination was considered.

The appeals panel found that the college had failed to document compliance with standards for financial stability and control since the original decision. The college also failed to prove "conditions of good cause" under which the Association would have extended the college's probationary status for six more months, according to the statement.

St. Andrews can reapply for accreditation once it has corrected the violations that caused its loss of membership in the Association.

Association Vice President Tom Bemburg said the school hasn't shown financial stability or an ability to support its mission and scope of programs.

The group suspended St. Andrews two years ago, which the college said was because of a disagreement over the college's strategic plan and how it structured its finances, including extensive borrowing to fund enrollment expansion.

Only accredited schools are granted the ability to administer federal student aid.