RALEIGH — St. Augustines University announced Friday that it would not move ahead with plans to acquire St. Pauls College, a financially troubled school in Virginia.
In a statement sent to the media Friday afternoon, St. Aug President Dianne Boardley Suber said after months of consideration, university officials decided the deal would not have been fiscally responsible.
This was a very difficult decision to make, Subers statement said. We explored several options in an effort to make the acquisition viable for Saint Augustines University. However, after completing our due diligence, we concluded that the acquisition of Saint Pauls College, at this time, would significantly challenge the fiscal stability of Saint Augustines University.
The future of St. Pauls, a private, historically black college in Lawrenceville, Va., is in doubt. Last June, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges stripped the college of accreditation. The removal was based largely on the colleges weak financial condition, but the commission also cited the colleges administrative and educational services and the fact that too few faculty had doctoral degrees.
Without accreditation, a college usually cannot survive because it is barred from receiving federal funds. St. Pauls had announced it would cancel most operations last fall.
But a judge later issued a preliminary injunction, allowing the college to keep its accreditation on a probationary basis and hold classes this academic year.
A statement by the accrediting body earlier this year said it agreed to the judges order so as to protect the rights and interests of both parties during the legal proceedings.
According to the colleges website, a graduation ceremony is scheduled for Saturday. The college had also apparently begun recruiting students for the fall. It advertised an open house for prospective students last month.
Efforts to reach the president of St. Pauls were unsuccessful Friday.
Though St. Augs said it would not go through with the acquisition, the universitys board of trustees agreed to hear a presentation by St. Pauls officials at a meeting May 31. St. Pauls asked for the opportunity to persuade St. Augs to reverse the decision.
St. Pauls, founded in 1888, is one of three historically black colleges founded by the Episcopal Church. The other two are St. Augs and Voorhees College in South Carolina.