“The reinstatement will allow students to continue their coursework and to continue flourishing in the Saint Paul’s environment,” said Dr. Claude Flythe, President and CEO of Saint Paul’s College.
The news of the preliminary injunction comes only days after the college was informed that its appeal of a decision by the Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges to terminate its accreditation was denied.
As of August 22 the Appeals Committee of the College Delegate Assembly had announced its decision on the Saint Paul’s College’s appeal for reaffirmation of its accreditation was denied. The decision affirmed the June 21 decision of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges to terminate the college’s accreditation. In response, Saint Paul’s College chose to appeal the accreditation decision to federal court. The school called the action by the association arbitrary and said that it ignores the progress that Saint Paul’s has made.
“We remain hopeful that the court will overturn SACS’ decision and place the interest of the students above SACS’ desire to ignore the extraordinary progress Saint Paul’s has made in a few short months,” said Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Saint Paul’s College, Dr. Oliver W. Spencer, Jr., in a press release.
Ashley L. Taylor, Jr. , attorney for the college, added, “SACS actions are subject to review by a United States District Court judge and we intend to ask a judge to enter a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to maintain the accreditation of Saint Paul’s College until the court has had the opportunity to fully review SACS’ actions. In our view, SACS’ decision should be enjoined because it violated SACS’ own procedural rules and staff arbitrarily ignored critical facts which demonstrate that Saint Paul’s is on sound financial footing.”
On Aug. 29 a federal court judge in Atlanta, Georgia issued a preliminary injunction which reinstates Saint Paul’s accreditation.
“This reinstatement also allows Saint Paul’s to continue improvements to its operations while avoiding disaster that would have occurred without reinstatement,” said Dr. Flythe.
Saint Paul’s Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the extended Saint Paul’s family have been very supportive of the efforts to ensure that Saint Paul’s is able to continue its mission.
Mayor for the Town of Lawrenceville Douglas Pond submitted his support for the college in correspondence to the federal court. “As the Mayor of Lawrenceville I am deeply saddened by recent events, which impact our small community… Saint Paul’s has been a beacon of hope and economic opportunity in Southern Virginia for over 100 years.
“The historic campus and architecture, on the National Register of Historic Places, provides a classic backdrop to personalized education that provides opportunities for athletic, spiritual and scholarly development with a strong sense of community.
“If Saint Paul’s remains unaccredited, the harm to the College, its students, Brunswick County, the Town of Lawrenceville, and the surrounding community would be unimaginable.”
Members of the Virginia Senate Donald McEachin and Frank Ruff, Jr. as well as Charlette Woolridge, Brunswick County’s Administrator, also provided similar letters. read more…