‘‘This warning is a reminder that the university is a public trust and that the governance responsibilities are shared among the rectors, and the president and the faculty,’’ Broad said. ‘‘It should be taken seriously, but in my view it’s a temporary setback for the university and with the solid support across the campus, I believe will quickly be in U.Va.’s rearview mirror.’’
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a higher education nonprofit, called the association’s warning ‘‘nothing more than a bare-knuckled power play.’’
‘‘Accreditors are supposed to protect students and taxpayers ensuring that federal aid flows only to schools with ‘educational quality,'’’ said Anne Neal, president of the council. ‘‘How ironic that SACS, which is tasked with ensuring reasonable academic standards at the school it accredits, turns on the U.Va. board, which embraced such oversight as its fiduciary duty.’’
Neal added that the association has ‘‘seriously overstepped’’ its bounds at U.Va. ‘‘Trustees — and the taxpaying public — should protest this misguided intrusion.’’
Felberbaum contributed to this report from Richmond, Va.
AP Education Writer Justin Pope in Ann Arbor, Mich., also contributed to this report.