She said the large number of adjunct faculty at UNCSA – most of whom are part-time – concentrate primarily on teaching.
“Because faculty do things in addition to teaching, we want to make sure there are enough (full-time) faculty that they’re there to advise students, to be involved in the governance process of the institution (and) to review curriculum,” Wheelan said.
After the first 12 months have elapsed, SACS has four options in dealing with the UNCSA situation, she said.
The agency can remove the warning without another additional report, continue the school’s warning status, place the school on probation or remove the school from the membership list of accredited schools.
Wheelan said although colleges and universities do not need accreditation to remain in operation, it is required if the institution’s students want to qualify for federal financial aid.ma
“I have great faith that the institution is going to do everything it can to come into compliance,” she said.
Marla Carpenter, a UNCSA spokeswoman, said the conservatory has requested a visit from its SACS staff representative, Mark Smith.
UNCSA provost David Nelson said in a statement that he welcomes the accreditation agency and vowed the school would fully comply with the coming assessment.
Nelson said Moeser, who had extensive experience with accreditation during his eight-year stint as chancellor at UNC-CH, will be an asset to the school throughout the process.
Moeser will begin serving as chancellor Aug. 1. He said the troubles plaguing the school are serious, but not totally unexpected.
Most of the responsibilities involving compliance will lie with Nelson, Moeser said, because he is the chief academic officer.
But he said his lengthy time spent as a university administrator has given him the expertise he needs to help bring the school back up to an appropriate standard.
“This is not an experience that’s new to me,” Moeser said.
He said he’s confident that the accreditation issues will be resolved by the end of the academic year.
Joseph Hefner, a third-year UNCSA student, said in an email he is encouraged that the SACS citation specifically mentions student complaints and hopes the school’s administration will take steps to address the student body’s specific concerns.
“As students at such an elite and intensive arts conservatory, we are often too busy or literally too tired to work hard enough to make major changes on campus or to hold our administration accountable,” Hefner said.
He said while other UNC-system schools have student governments, similar organizations at UNCSA are either ineffective or nonexistent.
But he said he is happy at UNCSA and does not foresee SACS’ decision having a negative impact on him in the “foreseeable future.”
“With the right guidance and leadership, these problems can be better addressed and UNCSA can continue to impress the state and the nation with the incredible things we accomplish here on a daily basis.”