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Wilberforce Makes Changes, Fights To Keep Doors Open

Wilberforce University is the nation’s oldest, private historically black college and university (HBCU).
Wilberforce University
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Wilberforce University now has less than a month to fight a Show Cause Order that could strip the school of its accreditation. There have been big administrative changes made in order to help the university keep its doors open.

To address the Show Cause Order from the Higher Learning Commission, Wilberforce hired a new President Dr. Algeania Freeman, and recently appointed 11 new board of trustee members. New board chair Mark Wilson, says they've been working overtime to address the commission's concerns.

"We've taken very seriously what's been given to us and feel like we have a viable, solid plan to address everything and are hopeful that that's going to lead to a positive outcome and that the school will continue to move forward as it has done for a 100 and some years," Wilson said.

Earlier this year, the Higher Learning Commission issued the Show Cause Order due to academic and fiscal concerns at the university. Wilson says the new team assembled is committed to finding long term solutions to those problems.

"So we were being very thorough and wanted to get individuals that were going to have the level of commitment necessary and that would do what we needed to do for as long as we need them to do it," he adds.

To help the school survive, the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Wilberforce University Alumni Association have committed to raise nearly $7 million in funds.

The university must respond to the Show Cause Order by December 15th.