The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools formally agreed Thursday to reinstate the accreditation of Edward Waters College, which had challenged the association's December decision to revoke its accreditation.
In punishing the college, the accrediting agency's Commission on Colleges had cited documents Edward Waters officials had submitted to the association that appeared to have been plagiarized from Alabama A&M University, another historically black institution. Edward Waters sued, saying that the association had violated its own procedures deniedthe college due process.
In March, a federal judge temporarily blocked the association from carrying out the revocation, saying that Edward Waters had shown "substantial likelihood that it will prove at trial that the association denied the college due process." The judge encouraged the college and the association to seek mediation.
The college and the association reached a settlement this month that cleared the way for Thursday's action.
In a news release Thursday, Edward Waters officials said that the accrediting agency had reinstated its accreditation, and that the college and the commission planned to work together for 12 months to ensure that the college regained its footing.
The college also said it had reached a separate agreement acknowledging that the "issues that led the commission to vote to remove the college from membership as an accredited institution, and that led the college to file a lawsuit to preserve its membership, have been resolved. The commission and the college are jointly petitioning the court to dismiss the lawsuit."
“We welcome the partnership with our accreditor over the next several months as we work to perfect, improve and enhance a stronger EWC while providing quality education for our students and our constituents," said Bishop McKinley Young, chairman of the Edward Waters Board of Trustees. "The ongoing relationship with the commission will allow us to achieve excellence with our faculty, staff and students."
Young also announced that the college had hired Oswald P. Bronson Sr., the interim president, to fill the job permanently. Bronson was the longtime president of Bethune-Cookman College, another historically black institution in Florida.