Virginia Intermont College deals with SACS decision

Virginia Intermont deals with SACS decision

BRISTOL, Va. - The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges placed Virginia Intermont College on probation in December of 2012. School president Dr. Clorisa Phillips told News 5 back in April that the school's long-time financial problems were mainly to blame.

"VI needed to change, and needs to change drastically in the way it operates," said Phillips.

On Thursday, SACS reviewed Virginia Intermont's probation. SACS spokewoman Pamela Cravy provided News 5 the following statement:

"It is recommended that the following institution be removed from membership, Virginia Intermont College, for failure to comply with requirement 2.11.1 (financial resources) and comprehensive standards 3.10.1 (financial stability) of the  Principles of Accreditation."

We contacted VI for comment on the decision and were told the school wasn't conducting interviews. We were told Phillips was working on the appeal and not available.

The school did post comments about action on the school's web page. "We will file an appeal and then enter into discussions with them. While that goes on, our accreditation is completely intact, and that also means students financial aid is intact, and of course our academic programs and offerings are as good as they've always been," said Phillips in the online statement.

Dr. Rosalind Reichard, the president of Emory and Henry College, says accreditation is key to keeping funding from the Department of Education intact. "You must be accredited by an agency approved by the Department of Education in order to provide federal financial aid," said Reichard.

As long as Virginia Intermont remains accredited, students who rely on federal aid programs can continue to pay for and attend school. VI also retains any federal support it may have. "Certainly you can regain your accreditation if you lose it, you can go back and regain it. But to regain it, you've got to take care of whatever challenges there might have been that brought about losing the accreditation," said Reichard.

Click here to view Dr. Phillips' comments regarding SACS's decision.

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