Dear Wilberforce University Family,
The recent chain of events on campus and in the news during the last two and one-half days has been quite disappointing and devastating to us all!
It was approximately 3:00 Monday afternoon when I received word that the HLC Board of Trustees had issued their decision to place Wilberforce on “Show Cause” status. I was literally leaving the campus, headed to the Columbus Airport, traveling to Nashville, TN for the purpose of reporting on the current status of the University, at the AME Church Annual Bishops’ Council and General Board Meeting. It was very difficult to have to give that report. However, I want you to know that we are not in this alone. The entire leadership of the Connectional AME Church, as well as members of the Wilberforce Board of Trustees are committed to doing everything they can to help us. There has been an outpouring of support and offers of assistance from numerous other colleges and universities, community members, alums, students and friends. While we recognize this situation as a crisis, we also accept its challenge. We can even see a tremendous opportunity to re-invent our beloved Wilberforce University. With your commitment and assistance, we will all do our part to accomplish what must be done.
The University family is called upon, once again, to continue its undivided support and hard work for the serious task ahead. It is a time to positively promote the ideals the founding fathers envisioned and to ensure that generations to come have the opportunity to continue ‘the Legacy….”
I want you to know that Wilberforce University takes its mission to drive diversified education, business, entrepreneurship and innovation across the nation, very seriously. In this past year we have seen great advancement within the University, and are continuing to make the necessary changes to continue this momentum. The Board of the Higher Learning Commission recently issued a Show-Cause order to Wilberforce University to present its case as to why its accreditation should not be withdrawn, based on various concerns revealed during a recent Focused Visit to the institution and which are specifically enumerated in the Commission’s action letter, which is available for review in the institution’s profile on the Commission’s website. The institution will be required to prepare a Show-Cause report by December 15, 2014, demonstrating that it meets the Commission’s Accreditation Criteria and Core Components, Assumed Practices and Federal Compliance requirements and to host a Show-Cause visit which will be conducted by peer reviewers no later than February 9, 2015 to validate the contents of that report. The Board of the Higher Learning Commission will take final action on the Show-Cause order in June 2015. It is important to emphasize that during the Show-Cause period, Wilberforce remains an accredited institution. We are committed to addressing the areas of concern, and ensuring that Wilberforce is compliant with all Higher Learning Commission accreditation standards.