Dillard’s warning from SACS sanction is up for review

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Inc. (SACS), will be in New Orleans Dec. 8-11 and Dr. Hughes will be giving a presentation on Dec. 10, between 7:30-8:45 a.m. at the Hilton Riverside Hotel. SACS placed Dillard University on a warning June 21, 2007 and Dillard responded to SACS challenge on June 29, 2007, to correct the history of fiscal noncompliance between 2000 and June 30, 2005. According to SACS, Dillard was placed on warning due to not submitting requested financial audits and the Commission determined that the audits failed to show compliance with the Financial Resources and Financial Stability requirements. According to SACS, a warning is the most minimal sanction delivered by the association. Dillard faces a fiscal issues warning because of unauthorized expenditures and huge debts made between the years 2000 and 2005. Since the noncompliance deals with the 2000 through 2005 fiscal years, Dr. Marvalene Hughes, president of Dillard University, and her administrative cabinet are tackling financial issues that occurred in the past. “When I assumed the presidency on July 1, 2005, a letter from the Commission arrived less than two weeks later, expressing concerns about Dillard’s ongoing fiscal management,” said Hughes. “I moved quickly to diagnose the problem and ensure that the university would be able to get on a firm foundation.”

Hughes said that since Hurricane Katrina made Dillard unable to return to campus for a year, Dillard was given the opportunity to defer its reports to SACS. The University’s administration began taking actions to correct the previous fiscal course immediately following Hurricane Katrina. Hughes said that there are some facts that she wants to reiterate to avoid misinterpretation so that everyone understands the situation. “Dillard is fully accredited. Dillard is not on probation. Dillard is eligible to continue to received all federal and state financial aid and grant resources,” said Hughes. “None of Dillard’s programs are impacted or jeopardized; no programs are being diminished or curtailed.” Though Dillard faces a warning for past fiscal trouble, the budget for July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2008 is balanced. Dr. Hughes and the university’s administration plans to hear from SACS regarding the repayment plan submitted in November, next week.