Cale: SACS team gives UNA perfect marks

During the past four years, UNA is only the third school to receive a perfect outcome from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which amounts to approximately 2 percent of schools overall, said UNA President Bill Cale.

“I was extremely confident that we would have a good review,” Cale said. “I thought we might have one or two recommendations to follow up on, but I was pleased that we have none.”

The SACSCOC committee visited UNA Feb. 27 through March 1.

Former, current and future students of UNA should be proud of the review, too, Cale said.

“The take away for families and students in this perfect review is an indication of the quality of this institution,” Cale said.

The final decision on whether or not UNA will receive reaccreditation will not be made until December at the annual meeting in Dallas.

“We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing and do it well,” Cale said. “I don’t have any concerns about getting reaccredited.”

Professors and staff members have been working on the process a long time now.

“The committee is here to come to a consensus on how we fare,” said Celia Reynolds, the SACS leadership team liaison and Collier librarian. “What we’re looking for is a clean bill of health.”

The SACS and QEP leadership teams, as well as UNA faculty members, spent more than two years preparing for this visit, officials said.

A strong effort was made to feel completely comfortable with all of the standards the committee would be addressing, said Dr. Jerri Bullard, sociology professor and co-chair of the compliance certification team.

“As a faculty member, getting a perfect review is like scoring a 100 on a test,” Bullard said. “We’re very excited about the future of UNA.”

The SACS leadership team feels good about their presentation to the accrediting body, officials said.

“They were clearly extremely impressed with our university,” said Dr. Gregory Carnes, Raburn eminent scholar of accounting and faculty representative for the SACS leadership team. “It’s going to be good publicity for our university. They’ll be going back to their respective universities and talking about our perfect review.”

While the university did receive a perfect review, the work does not end here, Carnes said.

The committee—composed of individuals from 10 different universities across the South—evaluated the university’s compliance with documentation, as well as preparations regarding the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and its implementation.

“Up to now, the majority of what we’ve done is laid out the QEP plans,” Carnes said. “The QEP was essentially approved (in our exit interview), and from now we begin executing that plan.”