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Accrediting agency to check up on U.Va.’s response to sanctions

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An regional accrediting group will visit the University of Virginia next week to check on the school’s response to sanctions after an aborted board effort to oust President Teresa Sullivan last year.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges put U.Va. on warning last year after finding the school in violation of two accreditation standards involving board governance and faculty governance.

A warning is a step below probation in sanctions by accrediting agencies.

In June 2012, Sullivan was pressured to resign by three members of the U.Va. Board of Visitors but was reinstated 16 days later after continuous protests by students, faculty and alumni attracted national attention.

U.Va. produced a report for SACS last month detailing the policies the school has implemented to comply with the agency’s standards.

Since the warning was issued last year,  U.Va. Board of Visitors has amended its manual to address issues raised by SACS.  Changing the contract of the university president now requires a publicly announced board meeting and a majority vote of the full board.

The board also changed the evaluation process for the president and allowed more faculty input in committee meetings.

Next week’s visit by a SACS special committee is described by university officials as the next step in a lengthy process of determining if  the U.Va. has met the organization’s expectations.

After its visit, the SACS committee will prepare a report, which U.Va. will have a chance to review before it is finalized.


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