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Posted by The Charlotte Post on Monday, March 7, 2016

Local & State

Johnson C. Smith University lands on probation over financial issues
Accrediting agency gives school a year to resolve
 
Published Wednesday, December 6, 2017 2:59 pm
by Herbert L. White

PHOTO | TROY HULL
Johnson C. Smith University has been placed on probation for a year by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges over its financial strength.

Johnson C. Smith University accreditation renewal is on hold due to questions about the school’s financial health.


The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges put JCSU on probation for a year at its Dec. 5 trustees meeting in Dallas, Texas after citing “a disclosure format on our audit report for the 2016-2017 fiscal year that did not appear on our previous audits,” President Ronald Carter wrote Tuesday in an email to alumni.

SACSCOC’s action is the latest chapter in JCSU’s financial history dating to 2015 when former trustee Talmadge Fair sought a public examination of the school’s fiscal viability. Colleges that lose accreditation are ineligible for federal student financial aid – an essential asset for lower-income students at HBCUs.

“The SACSCOC board will appoint a Special Committee to visit campus in Fall 2018 to review our status in response to questions about the format change and any additional requested actions,” Carter told alumni. “After that time, the SACSCOC Board of Trustees will vote on our reaffirmation of accreditation.”

Fair, a 1961 JCSU graduate, launched a vote of no-confidence petition in 2015 to force JCSU’s board to reveal the school’s finances and academics. Fair said Carter and former trustees Chair Monroe Miller stonewalled his inquiries in board meetings and later in private.

“I think such a discussion is warranted in the community as it relates to black colleges,” Fair said in 2015.

Carter has dismissed Fair’s allegations and reiterated Tuesday JCSU isn’t in financial distress.

“The University acts with integrity, responsibility, reliability and trust in everything we do,” he wrote. “We are not daunted by the denial of our reaffirmation and see this as an opportunity for continuous quality improvement which will result in even greater institutional effectiveness.”


Dorothy Cowser Yancy, a former JCSU president and 1964 graduate, expressed dismay at probation, which “saw JCSU taken to it’s (sic) lowest level.”

“Today is a sad day,” she texted alumni after attending the SACSCOC meeting, adding that. “…I cried. We were one of the first HBCU’s (sic) to be accredited in NC. Today Ron Carter took us to the pits.”

According to Yancy, who was JCSU president from 1994-2008, the school was cited for violating SACSCOC rules regarding financial stability and control. Carter, who is stepping down on Dec. 31, succeeded Yancy. Girard College President Clarence Armbrister, who was hired in October, will take over on Jan. 1. Girard is a preparatory school near Philadelphia.

“We have never been cited by [SACSCOC] for any problem,” Yancy wrote. “In fact, we had no follow up [inquiries] in 1996 or 2006. [Carter] must go now. …The Board needs to go too! They sat and let this happen.”

JCSU was one of three North Carolina HBCUs the accreditation agency put on probation, along with Bennett College in Greensboro and St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh. Bennett President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins – a JCSU graduate – noted the school has boosted enrollment and philanthropic support over the last year to position itself on firmer financial footing.

“Moving forward, we are working diligently to raise money, to increase enrollment and to improve both our infrastructure and student life to ensure we are removed from probationary status by December 2018,” she said in a statement.

Carter insists SACSCOC’s decision won’t harm JCSU’s long-term health.

“Johnson C. Smith University has stood on the highest point in Charlotte as a beacon of intellectual rigor, an economic engine for the city and a catalyst for innovation in higher education for 150 years,” he wrote. “Our core values have not changed. We are steadfast, and our value proposition is strong. This University will continue providing higher education access to highly talented and motivated students today and well into the 21st century.”
 

Comments

JCSU President Dr. Ronald Carter has spent a lot of time being pretentious intellectual snob with a goal of getting JCSU as far away as possible from its identity as a HBCU. Problem is, with his convoluted spin, nobody, including those on campus, knows what JCSU is anymore. The university's precious mission has been lost in Carter's so-called vision (go figure). His vision was mired in getting attention for himself and not in educating students. Carter failed to create a new brand ? not with STEM, not with a foster care initiative, not with a master's in social work, not with a dance and arts program, not with a street car coming down Beatties Ford Road. He should have left alone Dr. Yancy's "Laptop University." That worked. Money has been squandered on so much, including a president's house (the Smith House) far from campus in Myers Park (another effort to get away from the black community). Why? Almost every academic year has had a new scheme with some twist in the academic organization and all of it has cost money. Most people on campus know about the financial problems, with money perpetually shifted from budgets. The board should be embarrassed for allowing such fiscal recklessness. Yet the president has been allowed to operate with a certain flamboyance and disrespect. Being cited by SACS perpetuates the myth that HBCU's are becoming irrelevant. The truth is that some campuses are just badly managed by people who are selfish and fiscally irresponsible. The lack of integrity trickles down enabling administrators and deans who don't have the university's and students' best interest in mind. A lot of people have enabled bad behavior that endangers the survival of a great institution. It is not enough to say that the university will survive.
Posted on December 9, 2017
 
Ronald Carter is a snake!
Posted on December 8, 2017
 
The news is very sad. However, it is a great day for a new beginning for JCSU, this point forward we shall look at this as a starting point to never be in the despair again.
Posted on December 7, 2017
 
Bye bye Carter!
Posted on December 7, 2017
 

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