- The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on accreditation status changes for Baylor University and the University of Louisville, two institutions which faced national headlines for scandals regarding leadership oversight and legal compliance.
- The Southern Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Colleges yesterday placed both schools on probation, likely in connection with Baylor's sexual assault controversy within its department of athletics, and the legal tussle resulting from Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's failed attempt to replace Louisville's entire board of trustees.
- Both schools are unlikely to lose accreditation or its associated access to federal student aid.
Similar to the University of North Carolina and its academic fraud scandal, the accreditation changes for Baylor and Louisville will ultimately amount to little more than a public censuring for their respective high-profile scandals. Baylor is well-resourced enough to hire compliance officers and counselors to ensure stronger monitoring of charges made against student athletes, and Kentucky's governor now knows trying to control a school can be political suicide.
But for smaller institutions facing similar hardship with resources or politics, leaders have to face a much smaller margin of error in dealing with these specific challenges. It requires a higher level of transparency, legislative lobbying and maintaining support from key campus groups to ensure that if scandal arrives, there are enough stakeholders in the know to galvanize support for the institution and leadership if necessary.