UNCF President Called for Changes in HBCU Accreditation. And Then SACSCOC’s President Responded.

United Negro College Fund President and CEO Michael Lomax has spent the better part of the last two days publicly criticizing accreditation review processes involving the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, beginning with comments made during UNCF’s inaugural ‘State of the HBCU ‘ event and continuing on social media through this morning.

A recent internal review by #UNCFPRI noted that while 80 #HBCUs represent roughly 10% of the membership of SACSCOC, during the 2017-2018 timeframe #HBCUs were handed down more than 30% of all SASCOC sanctions. https://t.co/isMzwuPfml

— Dr. Michael Lomax (@DrMichaelLomax) March 5, 2019

I believe that harsh sanctions handed down to #HBCUs have reached a crisis that requires transparent, urgent and visible public review. #UNCF is asking Congress to assure that all institutions receive fair, unbiased and equitable treatment. https://t.co/EvcShzgJt7

— Dr. Michael Lomax (@DrMichaelLomax) March 5, 2019

Today, he received a sharp response from the president of the accreditor responsible for more than 70 percent of the nation’s HBCUs.

In a letter sent to Dr. Lomax and forwarded to members of the U.S. Congress, media, other HBCU advocacy groups and member school presidents of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), organization president Belle Wheelan responded the claims with disappointment and data on HBCUs’ overall standing in the organization.

The social media dialog drew a response from Kentucky State University President and former UNCF Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute Executive Director M. Christopher Brown II.

FYI – Accreditation is not done to colleges. It is done by colleges. It is a public, transparent review of previously agreed standards by collegiate peers. It is no different than food safety standards in a restaurant. https://t.co/j4QMlyyA6D

— M. C. Brown II (@DrMCB2) March 6, 2019

When I was Executive Director and Chief Research Scientist of @UNCF @FDPRI, we produced an annual Statistical Report of the private HBCU membership data related to enrollment, academic outcomes, finances, and infrastructure. https://t.co/4wcRvJDxup

— M. C. Brown II (@DrMCB2) March 6, 2019