SACS Affirms UL Monroe Progress – Jul 16, 2003
Accrediting Body Releases University from Further Oversight Until 2009
BATON ROUGE, La. – The chief accrediting body of universities in the South has accepted the latest progress report of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, fully releasing its sanction and clearing the university of further oversight until its next scheduled review in 2009.
In December, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) released the “warning” it had placed on the university’s accreditation but required the university to provide follow-up reports to demonstrate progress toward financial stability.
In a July 3 letter, SACS Commission on Colleges Executive Director James T. Rogers reported that, at its June 2003 meeting, “the Commission reviewed (UL Monroe’s) Third Progress Report following removal from Warning” and that “no further report was requested.”
UL System President Sally Clausen said she was happy to see that SACS was apparently satisfied with UL Monroe’s progress and that it has released the university from further progress reports until its regular review. She credited UL Monroe President James Cofer and his team with implementing the necessary improvements that prompted this latest action by SACS.
“I’m happy to see this chapter closed. It’s been a little more than a year since Dr. Cofer took over as President. Since then, he has focused on meeting the many SACS accreditation requirements in order to get the sanction lifted,” Clausen said.
“It’s been a long, hard year, but the challenge has made the university stronger as a result. Dr. Cofer can now put his full concentration on the many daily challenges facing every campus president. In many areas, he already has succeeded in making UL Monroe a more modern, efficient campus and one that will make its students and community proud,” she said.
Among many accomplishments since last spring, the UL Monroe administration has:
Implemented 100 percent of the recommendations made in an external institutional review of university operations.
Achieved an unqualified audit, the highest possible distinction, by the Legislative Auditor’s Office.
Passed its first safety audit. The successful audit, conducted by the Louisiana Office of Risk Management Loss Prevention Unit, resulted in a 5 percent drop in the university’s insurance premium. The Office of Risk Management has been conducting annual safety audits since 1999.
Privatized its campus dining and bookstore operations, resulting in greater efficiency and savings to the university.
Streamlined operations and balanced the general fund and auxiliary budgets.
The university also has updated a number of policies and procedures, most recently its policy regarding dormitory assignments.
“I am so pleased for the institution to have this behind us,” Cofer said. “We do not have to report back to SACS until 2009, which means that we can put all of our energy into moving this great university forward. There are still areas other than accreditation that we need to address, and we are doing that in a thoughtful manner.”
Cofer became president of ULM in April 2002 and began to address financial difficulties resulting from declining enrollment and outdated financial reporting mechanisms. In addition, SACS had placed the university on warning citing its inability to attain a successful financial audit from Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle.
The University of Louisiana System includes eight universities: Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
A copy of the SACS letter, in PDF format, is available on the UL System website at www.ulsystem.net.
Click here for the SACS letter.
For More Information Contact: