MOUNT VERNON, Ga. (BP) — Brewton-Parker College has been notified that it will remain an accredited member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) while appealing its accreditation status.
Brewton-Parker, one of three educational institutions affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, was notified of the decision Sept. 29 — 103 days after it learned on June 19 that SACSCOC was suspending its accreditation.
In a prepared statement on Sept. 30, Brewton-Parker stated it had been informed that “the Appeals Committee of SACSCOC ordered a remand of the decision of the Board of Trustees of SACSCOC to remove Brewton-Parker College as a member. Brewton-Parker’s case will now go to the Committee on Compliance and Reports of SACSCOC for reconsideration.”
The statement further noted that the effect of the decision is to continue BPC’s accreditation, on probation, as it existed before the June 19 vote by SACSCOC trustees.
Peter Lumpkins, vice president of communications at the south Georgia college, said it had presented new material evidence demonstrating improvement in its financial position that “warranted a remand and the continuation of its accreditation. SACSCOC will continue to review the new evidence in greater detail for compliance with SACSCOC’s standards.”
In the college’s Sept. 30 statement, BPC President Ergun Caner stated that “this decision by the appeals committee of SACSCOC is a validation of SACSCOC’s own process and shows that the system works. We are thankful the appeals committee recognized what we knew all along — that Brewton-Parker College is a financially stable and viable institution of higher learning.”
The decision, Caner added, is the result of thousands of hours of work by the entire college community and is a “victory … shared not only by our trustees, faculty, staff and students, but also the entire community of dedicated friends around us.”
“The people of Mount Vernon, Ailey, Montgomery County and the entire region stood by us. Today that trust was validated. Our students, faculty, staff and partners in the community who have stood by our side should know that we are confident that Brewton-Parker College will remain accredited by SACSCOC.”
Caner pledged to continue to “work closely and cooperatively with SACSCOC” to remove the college from probation.
“It will continue on its march to grow enrollment to record heights. The greatest legacy of Brewton-Parker College’s 110-year history is ahead. However, today we give thanks to God for this decision, for it was by His guidance that this positive decision was made,” Caner said.
According to BPC’s Sept. 30 statement, new evidence presented to the SACSCOC appeals committee demonstrated that the college had corrected problems previously identified by SACSCOC stemming from financial difficulties experienced in the late 1990s. Over the last three years, Brewton-Parker has taken “significant steps to balance its operational budget, restructure its debt and cut its expenses, while retaining its status as one of the foremost providers of Christian education in the State of Georgia,” the statement said.
The college, founded in 1904, described its mission as developing “the whole student through the application of biblically centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.” It is on the Web at www.bpc.edu.
Caner, 49, was elected as Brewton-Parker’s 16th president on Dec. 2 of last year. He had previously served as dean at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va., and as provost and academic dean at Arlington Baptist College in Texas.