After a yearlong penalty, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is in the clear.
According to reports, a regional accrediting organization voted to end the school’s probation, which was imposed after the 2011 hazing death of Marching 100 drum major Robert Champion. The probation not only hurt the historically black university’s academic reputation, but threatened its accreditation by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges.
In light of the good news, FAMU President Larry Robinson said he’s glad to see the “dark cloud” lifted.
“This was the best possible outcome for the university regarding this particular sanction,” he told university trustees. “While we’ve been working to address these issues, the university continued to do great things with our students. Now we can focus on just those great things.”
FAMU also was asked about the safety of its students in the wake of Champion’s death. Additionally, the accrediting body also cited lax financial oversight after state investigators concluded that the university did not keep track of expenses and finances for the band.
Robinson said a year ago that he was convinced the university had already taken many steps to address problems identified by the organization. The university made sweeping changes after Champion’s death, including enacting a zero-tolerance policy for hazing and placing new rules on the Marching 100. The band wasn’t allowed to start performing again until this fall.
According to the Miami Herald, this was the second time in the past decade that FAMU was placed on probation. In 2007, the school almost lost its accreditation due to a series of financial rule violations.