WILBERFORCE — Wilberforce University is seeking public comments in advance of an evaluation visit by its accrediting agency.
The university will host a group of reviewers from the Higher Learning Commission Nov. 4-6 to review the school’s ability to meet accreditation criteria. Wilberforce University has been accredited since 1962 but it was placed on probation last June because financial statements show “significant financial decline” since the school was removed from a previous show-cause status by the HLC. If Wilberforce is no longer accredited, students could lose the opportunity to obtain financial aid.
According to a letter from HLC President Barbara Gellman-Danley, Wilberforce is on probation because “it is out of compliance with the criteria for accreditation” related to teaching and learning as well as resources, planning, and institutional effectiveness.
In addition to the financial decline, the HLC cited that the institution’s growth of liabilities and loss of net assets have continued in the same trajectory since FY 2013, which led to the show-cause status. In fiscal year 2017, Wilberforce operated at a deficit of $19 million while audited net assets for the same period were $9.4 million.
Comments must be in writing and must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Submit comments to HLC at hlcommission.org/comment or mail them to Public Comment on Wilberforce University, Higher Learning Commission, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411.
All comments must be received by Oct. 7.
The university is required to provide evidence that it has addressed the issues that led to the sanction.
In June 2020, the HLC Board of Trustees will determine whether the institution has demonstrated that it is in compliance with the criteria for accreditation and whether probation can be removed.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.