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Can St. Augustine’s Survive?

by The Urban News
Saint Augustine’s, established in 1867 in Raleigh, NC, is a four-year liberal arts university.

Given the troubling news and events over the past six months, students, faculty, staff, administrators, and supporters of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh are all asking the same question: Can it survive its mounting challenges?

No stranger to negative headlines in recent stories, St. Aug’s, as it’s affectionately known by its alumni and supporters, is fighting for its very existence amid reports of its accreditation being revoked by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission; creditors (including the federal government) banging on its doors for millions in outstanding debts; and a growing pile of lawsuits and complaints by former employees.

Amid its struggles, SAU’s interim President Dr. Marcus H. Burgess, assured the school community recently that “SAU will keep its doors open, and we have a clear plan to navigate the challenges ahead.”

Dr. Burgess also assured that “Our seniors will still graduate with a degree from an accredited institution, and our students will still receive college credit for their courses. Additionally, financial aid will continue to be honored, and we dedicate ourselves to ensuring that it remains unaffected by recent developments.”

With graduations traditionally scheduled just nine weeks away, Dr. Burgess’s declaration that there will be a 2024 senior graduating class is a hopeful sign, although many students have said they have no choice but to leave SAU early, given reported problems with their financial aid and the school’s struggles to maintain its accreditation and fiscal solvency.

St. Augustine’s Interim President, Dr. Marcus Burgess.
St. Augustine’s Interim President,
Dr. Marcus Burgess.

Burgess is able to assure that SAU will maintain some semblance of accreditation over the near future because it is entitled to that by SACSCOC while it legally fights to maintain its status.

“Importantly, SAU will remain accredited throughout the arbitration…

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