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Loyola University New Orleans placed on probation by accreditation agency

The probation will not affect academic programs, scholarships or financial aid. Loyola remains fully accredited.
Loyola University (Photo: Tracie Morris Schaefer, USA Today)

Loyola University of New Orleans has been placed on probation.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the institution responsible for Loyola's accreditation as a university, has placed the school on probation for one year after monitoring their finances.

The Uptown university has struggled financially since 2013 when 200 fewer students than expected enrolled, creating a budget gap of $25 million.

“The Loyola community has done extraordinary work to turn around our deficits and balance our budget through admissions success and difficult, but careful cuts,” said Tania Tetlow, Loyola's newly inaugurated president, in a statement. “As part of its review, SACSCOC will want to ensure that we live within that balanced budget this fiscal year. We know that we will --- we are almost halfway there already.”

Loyola officials say they've closed the budget gap through increased enrollment and retention, as well as reducing spending by $1.45 million and raising more than $90 million with their "Faith in the Future" campaign.

The probation will not affect academic programs, scholarships or financial aid. Loyola remains fully accredited.

Below is the full text of a letter Tetlow sent to alumni and friends of the university on Tuesday:

"The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the governing body for Loyola University New Orleans and other universities in our region. This weekend at SACSCOC’s annual meeting, the Commission reviewed our latest financial information and that of several other colleges. Based on that review, the Commission announced today its decision to place our University on a probation to allow for ongoing financial monitoring for one year.

We want to remind you that this decision does not change Loyola’s accreditation or reflect any concerns with our academic program. Loyola has passed 96 different measures of academic quality and continues to provide the world-class, hands-on education that has allowed our graduates to go out and change the world. This is about budget issues and nothing else.

SACSCOC’s decision was based on a review of past financial performance, but we are in a much better financial position now. Today, thanks to a remarkable effort by our tireless faculty and staff, we have balanced our budget. During the next year, the accreditors want us to demonstrate that we will in fact live within that balanced budget. We know we will. We’re almost halfway there already.

Probation is a hurdle faced by many other institutions, who quickly overcame it, including the University of North Carolina, Texas Tech, and the University of Louisville. We will too.

I have never been more confident about the future of Loyola. We have an outstanding faculty, a 106-year-old history, and a $228 million endowment. We have you and other donors who have contributed a total of over $90.6 million to our Faith in the Future campaign, the greatest seven-year outpouring of philanthropy in Loyola’s history....

For now, our focus is on the future and ensuring we continue to provide the type of education and access that defined the Loyola experience. We are excited to share with them the passion and joy that brought us all into this community and inspires us daily. Together, we will continue the Loyola tradition for generations to come," Tetlow wrote.

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