MARTIN, Tenn. — The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has officially removed the University of Tennessee at Martin from probationary status. The announcement came during the final day of the 2016 SACSCOC Annual Meeting held Dec. 3-6 in Atlanta, Ga.
UT Martin received notice of the commission’s decision to place the university on a 12-month academic probation in December 2015. The decision was based on the university’s “failure to comply” with five of the 92 accreditation standards. The university remained fully accredited by the commission throughout the probation period, and program-specific accreditations also remained in place and continue.
“While I must congratulate UT Martin on successfully addressing the matters raised by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, I never for a moment doubted that success would be the outcome,” said Dr. Joe DiPietro, University of Tennessee president. “The UT Martin faculty, staff, students and administration, under the exceptional leadership of Interim Chancellor Bob Smith, committed themselves tirelessly with a Herculean effort and an incredible sense of teamwork to ensure all concerns were resolved, and their hard work has paid off with the return of their full accreditation status. No doubt, I am very proud of their accomplishment.”
Since the commission’s decision, UT Martin faculty members, administrators and support staff have made significant changes in the campus atmosphere and documentation surrounding assessment and student outcomes. A long-term plan is in place to ensure the issue does not recur.
A SACSCOC team made a site visit to the UT Martin main campus Oct. 4-6, which included a series of meetings and the team’s follow-up report to the commission. The visiting team made no recommendations for further action.
“I’m grateful to our UT Martin faculty and staff for their hard work and persistence in successfully addressing this critical challenge,” said Dr. Bob Smith, who guided the university through the yearlong process leading to SACSCOC’s decision. “Our students, alumni and friends showed tremendous confidence in us during the past year, and I’m especially pleased that they are rewarded for standing behind their university.”
Dr. Keith Carver was elected the university’s 10th chancellor in October by the UT Board of Trustees and will begin his duties Jan. 3. He said the accreditation news offers the university a positive foundation for the year ahead.
“This news reflects the great work of the UT Martin team over the past year. This was a tremendous effort by the entire campus community,” said Carver. “I’m excited by the momentum this has created, and I look forward to our continued work to educate the region’s best and brightest students.”
UT Martin is a primary campus in the University of Tennessee System and offers 17 undergraduate degrees with more than 100 specialized concentrations and five graduate degrees with 17 specialized concentrations.Bob Smith, Featured, Joe DiPietro, UT Martin