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Monitoring by USC's accrediting board may continue through calendar year, board of trustees says

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges' (SACSCOC) monitoring of USC may continue “into the next calendar year,” the board of trustees said at a meeting Wednesday. The university is being monitored due to findings of undue political influence in the appointment of President Bob Caslen. 

With this in mind, the board discussed two of SACSCOC's assessments of its governance, to be completed by the end of 2021. First, the university’s re-accreditation, which occurs every 10 years, involves a report from an off-campus group, interviews with faculty and staff and a recommendation of action from SACSCOC’s executive board. 

Donald Miles, director of institutional effectiveness and accreditation, said accreditation "would make our cases … that we are, in fact, in compliance.”

Re-accreditation will begin by Sept. 14, when the university submits a compliance report to the accrediting board, and will end in December 2021.

The second assessment is a more specific report related to SACSCOC’s findings of undue influence. By Aug. 28, the university will prepare a report for SACSCOC’s board of trustees detailing present and future plans to address its concerns.

In December, Miles said the board “will make a determination based on the university response of whether or not they feel that the university has done enough.”

Steps that USC’s board has already taken to address SACSCOC’s concerns include developing a code of conduct for its members and establishing a policy on external influences. However, Miles highlighted the need for increased documentation on the board.

"We can verify that all your board members have done this, or that you do have this policy, you have this procedure in place,” Miles said. "We can see that they're ... addressing some of these issues, putting good sound practices in place, and that would give us the documentation we need." 

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