UF submitted a report Tuesday to its accreditation body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, affirming there was no external influence on its decisions to allow or deny professors to testify as expert witnesses.
The SACSCOC opened an investigation Nov. 1 to evaluate whether the university fell out of compliance with the association’s principles of accreditation. UF’s barring of three political science professors from testifying in a court case against the state raised concerns that the institution violated standards of academic freedom and undue external influence.
In its report, UF maintained the decisions were not affected by external entities or individuals. It also wrote the school’s Board of Governors was not involved in the decision-making process at any time.
Since the SACSCOC has received UF’s response to its inquiry, the association can proceed with its review of the university. Based on UF’s response, Vice President of SACSCOC John Hardt said one of two things can happen: the response can be accepted or lead to further investigation.
“In this process or in the [normal] reaffirmation process, institutions are given multiple opportunities to show how they are in compliance,” Hardt said.
It is uncommon for a school to lose its accreditation, but if UF were to, the process would take several years.
At this time, UF must wait to see how the SACSCOC will proceed.
Contact Elena Barrera at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @elenabarreraaa.
Elena is a second-year journalism major with a minor in health sciences. She is currently the University Administration reporter for The Alligator. When she is not writing, Elena loves to work out, go to the beach and spend time with her friends and family.