PEMBROKE — The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will not lose its accreditation because it has been sanctioned by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges — its accrediting agency — for twice not reporting master’s programs it was offering at community colleges throughout the region.
“We made a reporting mistake and we need to do better. We need to be more attentive,” Ken Kitts, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNCP, told The Robesonian. “We have come up with a plan to correct the problem so that we can submit it to the association for consideration early this spring.
“We are already putting our plan in action, ” he said.
Kitts said that UNCP was issued a warning by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Dec. 5 for not following proper program reporting procedures. The university was placed on warning for six months.
“When you take a degree program off campus you have to report it to the association six months in advance,” Kitts said. “We failed to do that.”
Kitts added that the programs in question have now been approved.
“Students now in the programs will be able to graduate,” he said. “And we are going to continue offering our programs off campus. We take our mission as a regional university seriously.”
According to Kitts, the university received the “weakest” and “easiest” to correct sanction that the commission could have levied. He said the sanction is not related to academic or financial problems as are most of the warnings issued by the commission. The warning resulted from UNCP’s failure to report off-campus programs in 2007 and during the 2010-11 school year, Kitts said.
The accrediting board will meet again in June. At that time, if it chooses, it can remove the warning. Other options the board has is to leave the warning in place and ask that UNCP provide more information; place the university on probation; or remove UNCP from its membership roll.
“We’ll make this all right,” Kitts told the Robesonian. “We’re already putting our plan in action. I’m confident that the warning will be lifted in June.”
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