Edward Waters College gains a victory in court

greenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

A Federal judge granted the injunction allowing EWC to remain accredited while the school prepares its legal battle with SACS. While this may be Pyrric victory, it is nonetheless the best news for this embattled AME supported college in many months. See the article below. QED

Judge lets Edward Waters stay accredited; urges mediation

Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Edward Waters College can keep its accreditation while it pursues a suit against the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a federal judge ordered Friday.

The association tried to pull the approval in December after the historic college allegedly used a paper plagiarized from Alabama A&M in submitting documents to maintain accreditation.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan, in granting a request for an injunction, noted that the school is likely to prove at trial that the procedures used by the association in revoking the accreditation violated due process.

Students at unaccredited schools cannot receive federal financial aid, and other universities and potential employers may not recognize degrees or course credit from unaccredited colleges as valid. About 90 percent of Edward Waters' students receive federal financial aid.

"It is now beginning to be understood that EWC has been denied its due process," said Bishop McKinley Young, chairman of the school's Board of Trustees.

If the accreditation is revoked, it could be the death knell for the college, which was founded in 1866 to educate freed slaves. Uncertainty of the school's future has caused a drop of its enrollment from 1,300 students to about 900.

In February, an association appeals committee heard testimony from Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton and Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings on behalf of the college but refused to reverse the association's decision.

The school then sued the association in federal court.

Corrigan suggested instead that the two sides try to resolve the issue through mediation. He appointed U.S. District Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger and local attorney William Scheu, who served as the interim Duval County Supervisor of Elections, as mediators.

The association is a group of more than 800 institutions of higher learning in the southern region of the country. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to confer accreditation on schools and college in 11 southern states.

-- Anonymous, March 11, 2005

Moderation questions? read the FAQ