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FAMU's Robinson To Review Staff Qualifications After Accreditation Sanction

Florida A&M University has once again found itself in an uncomfortably familiar spot. The school has been hit with a probation sanction by its accrediting body for the second time in five years. Lynn Hatter reports Wednesday interim University President Larry Robinson met with concerned students, faculty and alumni.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is Florida A&M’s accrediting body. And it placed the school on a one-year probation citing concerns over incomplete audits, administrative qualifications, hazing and faulty oversight of monies related to the band program. Interim FAMU President Larry Robinson says the school has already address a number of the concerns. He also says the university will start a review to make sure people in current administrative positions are qualified to be there:

“We have to review the academic degrees and credentials of everyone in a administrative role at the university. Show that They’re qualified, the ones we do have, but also show that the processes we have in place will ensure that anyone we bring on is qualified as well.”  

The issue of the incomplete audits, which Robinson believes led to the sanction,  and administrative qualifications are tied together. The school fired its former auditor Charles O’ Dour after discovering the audits done by him contained missing and fraudulent information. But students like  say they believe the probe should go deeper and include faculty and staff of the various departments.

“I’d rather somebody get to a certain position because they’re a qualified individual, not just because they’re black or they’re from FAMU, but that they’re a qualified individual," said Kachi Ukapabi, a pharmacy student.

The university is still awaiting a written notice by SACS which will provide more insight into the probation sanction. SACS officials say they will release their report sometime next week. The university remains fully accredited despite the sanction.

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on twitter @HatterLynn

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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