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Aug 8, 2005 5:03 pm


University of Southern Mississippi's Accreditation is Threatened



The University of Southern Mississippi, after two and a half years of misrule by President Shelby F. Thames, has been hit with a one-year probation by its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Thorough coverage by the Hattiesburg American and the Jackson Clarion-Ledger is well worth a read.

Stunned by the outcome, Thames is hastily denying responsibility but has yet to recover the presence of mind to designate a scapegoat. He will need one, particularly since SACS officials have now told the press that the probation was two years in the making. Soon we will know which of Thames' remaining administrative henchpeople has all of a sudden become expendable.

Everyone will want to know how the Institutions of Higher Learning Board of Trustees is going to react to the latest fiasco; the Board meets later this month.

My admittedly cynical prediction is that Thames' chief sponsor, Roy Klumb, and his allies on the Board will publicly deplore the probation and declare that of course Thames will succeed in getting it lifted--while privately rejoicing, and fully expecting Thames to finish the job by getting USM deaccredited.

Further breaking news: the USM chapter of the American Association of University Professors has formally requested an investigation of USM's administration by the national AAUP.

The best way to follow these breaking stories is to visit the revived AAUP-USM web site and check out the message board.


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Chris Matthew Sciabarra - 12/10/2004

You've done such a service by documenting all of this. You should definitely provide an index for all your detailed writings on this important subject. It is remarkable.

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