U.Md. at risk of losing accreditation needed for federal financial aid

The University of Maryland is at risk of losing an accreditation, which could result in the school and students losing out on federal financial aid.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education announced Friday that it has put the University of Maryland under warning and is requiring the university to address concerns by March 2020.

Among the demands from the commission: University of Maryland and its Board of Regents must be able to prove it has “a clearly articulated and transparent governance structure.”

The university will remain accredited while under warning, according to the commission.

University of Maryland was placed on early review by the commission in November because of how the board reacted to the death of 19-year-old football player Jordan McNair.

In a joint statement, the University System of Maryland Regents Chair Linda Gooden, its Chancellor Robert Caret, and University of Maryland College Park President Wallace Loh said that they are “committed to working together” to get the warning removed.

“Progress toward full compliance is already underway and will be completed by March 1, 2020,” the statement said.

Maryland state Sen. Jim Rosapepe, a Democrat who represents Prince George’s County, whose district includes the University of Maryland College Park and who is also a former member of the Board of Regents, said the commission is responding to old news.

“I kind of feel like they’re folks who show up after the battle’s over and shoot the wounded,” said Rosapepe.

Rosapepe said the board has apologized for the “big mistake” it made, changed leadership and that this legislative session lawmakers rewrote the governance of the Board of Regents, which he said addresses the commission’s concerns.

“It seems like the Middle State’s Commission is sort of a day late and a dollar short,” he said.

Rosapepe said while he was flabbergasted by how the board ended up “turning a tragedy into a catastrophe,” he believes it’s now back on track.

“I’m very optimistic that the new leadership of the Regents is moving in the right direction,” Rosapepe said.

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