UWA Optimistic About Future

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Officials at the University of West Alabama say they're optimistic that an agreement that ended a split among the board of trustees will resolve its one year probation, imposed in December by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

"This agreement and this willingness of the board to work together and move forward is going to greatly assist us in removing that probation. We feel confident of that," said UWA president Dr. Richard Holland.

Holland said the probation was tied primarily to governance issues. The board of trustees split in March 2003 in a dispute over the chairmanship. It ultimately led to one faction suing the other.

The SACS meets again in December. Dr. Holland said the university must submit a report at the end of March and another in October before the probation can be removed.

"And that's what we're all working on right now," said Holland. "And everyone's on the same page and moving forward. That is a very serious charge against an institution when it is placed on probation."

Though the probation doesn't affect students in any way academically, it could have a disastrous affect financially, if the school were to lose its accreditation as a result.