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Sanctions being addressed

By Kelly Mayo
News Editor

January 26, 2012

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Kenneth Kitts said that UNCP's master's programs will still operate normally despite recent sanctions levied by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

The sanctions came as a result of a failure to tell the accrediting body about moving three master's programs to nearby community colleges. Dr. Kitts said SACS is supposed to know about such moves at least six months in advance.

Dr. Kitts said SACS's board of trustees "decided to issue a warning to UNC Pembroke for reporting violations" at its semiannual meeting on Dec. 5.

The sanctions will remain in place for six months until the SACS board's next meeting in June 2012, where it will decide whether UNCP has done enough to warrant the sanctions' removal.

'We made a mistake'

Dr. Kitts said the reporting errors were made from summer 2010 to summer 2011, and that the school moved quickly to make things right.

All three of those roads are considered major roads for Pembroke.
Dr. Kitts said the reporting errors were made from summer 2010 to summer 2011, and that the school moved quickly to make things right.

"We notified SACS ourselves. We made a mistake," Dr. Kitts said.

Dr. Kitts said that in order to correct the situation, the school will prepare "lengthy reports to tell them [SACS] how it will be fixed."

UNCP made a similar reporting mistake in 2007, making this the second error in four years.

'Not in question'

Dr. Kitts said that while the sanctions are a serious issue, they are light compared to other actions SACS could have taken, including probation or a revocation of accreditation, which the provost likened to a "death penalty" for a school.

Dr. Kitts said a school can be put on probation as a consequence of financial problems or questions of its said SACS academic programs. He said SACS had no problems of that sort with UNCP.

"Our accreditation is not in question," Dr. Kitts said.

Dr. Kitts said the SACS board approved the transplanted master's programs after it found out about them, and that current students on track to graduate from those programs will be able to do so.

Dr. Kitts said that "better internal reporting" is needed in order to not repeat the lapse in reporting.

"We weren't attentive enough...but we will be from here on out. I can promise you that," Dr. Kitts said.

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