Accreditor Rejects Criticism From UNCF

March 7, 2019

The president of the primary accreditor for historically black colleges on Wednesday took Michael Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund, to task for criticism this week of regional accreditors generally and her organization in particular.

Lomax complained in a speech this week that regional accreditors have discriminated against historically black colleges and called on Congress to review the practices of those organizations.

In her letter Wednesday, Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, said that Lomax had quoted her out of context and added that she was "extremely disappointed" that he would make those statements without contacting her first to discuss the accreditation process.

Wheelan wrote that in the last 30 years, her organization had dropped the accreditation of 30 institutions, of which 13 were HBCUs.

"I am perplexed, therefore, that you would propose that SACSCOC has made a concerted effort to adversely affect the accreditation of HBCUs," she said. "If that were the case, how do you explain the fact that 64, or 85 percent, of our HBCU members currently meet and maintain compliance with our accreditation standards?"

In addition to Lomax and HBCU member organizations, the letter also went to Democratic lawmakers in attendance at Lomax's speech.

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