Tennessee State University’s accreditation was unconditionally reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges today.
The announcement came during the SACSCOC annual meeting in Orlando. “We are pleased and not surprised that the SACSCOC has decided to reaffirm TSU’s accreditation,” said Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan. “The faculty and staff deserve much credit for their work and dedication to address concerns related to institutional effectiveness and the use of outcomes to improve TSU’s programs.“This process has helped TSU strengthen its ability to use planning and data to enhance its effectiveness. These are critical elements as we move into this new era of outcomes-based funding and evaluation.”SACS, the regional accrediting body for institutions in the South, placed TSU on warning status last year during its 10-year review, requiring TSU to address concerns and demonstrate compliance with requirements and standards related to institutional effectiveness programs. While TSU maintained its accreditation, SACS delayed full reaffirmation until today.Today’s announcement recognizes TSU’s efforts and progress toward addressing those concerns over the past 12 months, said Morgan. The reaffirmation of accreditation was immediate and unconditional.“I appreciate President [Portia] Shields’ leadership in this effort and her work engaging the campus community to develop a strong response to the accrediting body’s concerns,” said Morgan.“I hope this news will help galvanize the TSU community and bring its supporters together to encourage progress and collaboration for the good of the university and the success of its students.”Shields was named interim president of TSU last December. One of her chief priorities was to ensure TSU’s reaccreditation would be affirmed. The TBR will begin a national search for a permanent president at TSU next year in order to name a new president by next fall. The reaffirmation announcement will help attract a strong group of national candidates, said Morgan.“With the reaffirmation issue resolved and operational improvements continuing under Dr. Shields’ leadership, TSU will be in a great position as we begin the search for a permanent president next year.”The Tennessee Board of Regents is the nation’s sixth largest higher education system, governing 46 post-secondary educational institutions. The TBR system includes six universities (including TSU), 13 two-year colleges and 27 technology centers, providing programs in 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties to more than 200,000 students.
The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.