Grambling’s Accreditation Dilemma to Come Down To the DeadlineBATON ROUGE, La.Legislative Auditor Dan Kyle said last month he will not know until the deadline time of mid-September if a Grambling University financial audit will pass muster, thus saving the school’s accreditation.“Today, I have no better idea of what the outcome will be. It won’t be known until the end,” Kyle told the Board of Regents for Higher Education.Kyle’s staff has been working for months with Grambling financial auditors, trying to get the school’s books in order for fiscal years 2000-01 and 2001-02.The Sept. 16 deadline was set by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Without a complete audit showing few problems, the schools can lose SACS accreditation. Students cannot get loans for a school that has no accreditation. Most of the nearly 6,000 Grambling students depend on loans. Also, the school’s degrees would mean little to graduate schools and various professional licensing groups. Kyle and Sally Clausen, president of the University of Louisiana System, and acting Grambling president Neari Warner briefed the regents on the entire situation — the same briefing given to a federal judge in New Orleans earlier last month. The judge, handling Louisiana’s higher education desegregation case, had to be convinced that the state was doing all it should to support Grambling. State officials did a good job of showing support, Clausen and Warner told the regents. The financial problem at Grambling, Warner said, is due to a high turnover of top administrators from 1993-2000, including five presidents, five vice presidents of academic affairs, seven vice presidents of finance, six vice presidents of student affairs.Kyle said the last time Grambling had a good audit — known as an unqualified audit — was in 1997. Kyle’s staff tried to audit further years but some school documents had been lost. Since 2000, the school has been trying to reconstruct documents.The current Grambling administrative staff have impressed legislative auditors, and Grambling officials have been cooperative, Kyle added.
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