The nation’s oldest historically black private university is at risk of losing its accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, according to documents from the commission.
Wilberforce University received a “Show-Cause” order from the commission by certified mail on Monday.
The “Show-Cause” order is procedural and requires that the university present its case “as to why its accreditation should not be withdrawn.” The order is effective as of June 12 — the date the board of the Higher Learning Commission issued it.
A letter to interim president Wilma Mishoe from the commission outlines multiple problems with the school related to admnistration and board issues. The letter also notes significant financial, admission and infrastructure issues. According to the document, Wilberforce enrolled fewer than 100 students in the fall 2013 class. Of those students, 28 percent of the class withdrew during the fall term. The university set an enrollment projection of 200 students for fall 2014.
In one of several sections documenting non-compliance with accreditation criteria, the letter to Mishoe said, “The University has not demonstrated its ability to make adequate and realistic plans for the future.”
“The University administration has put forth business models that do not reflect best practice in higher education and do not take into account readily available financial and trend information in hgiher education that indicate such enrollment increases are unlikely; results of planning documents indicate that the University consistently faild to achieve its stated goals; and the University continues to predict improved enrollment and revenues even as it is in a state of financial emergency and crisis to its physical plant and infrastructure.”