Trouble for UWA?

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The University of West Alabama could face probation if its trustees do not resolve a bitter political fight that has prevented them from setting a budget and tuition levels.

A preliminary report from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools said some board members are too involved in the daily affairs of the university.

The organization also warned that if the conflicts continue, UWA's academic mission could be seriously harmed. If the school is placed on probation, it would have one year to correct the problems or risk losing its accreditation. The final report from SACS is due next week.

The 12-person UWA board split in March after several members voted to remove trustee Mann Minus from his position as chairman.

The two factions held separate, simultaneous meetings in June, one supporting Minus, the other backing Thomas Umphrey, a UWA trustee and former president of Shelton State College. The boards met again, separately, Dec. 1.

UWA President Dr. Richard Holland said he was not worried about the possibility of probation. He praised the school for making progress since SACS' reaccredidation study in 2002.