Message From The President
Atlantic Union College – a faith based institution of higher education in the Seventh-day Adventist Atlantic Union Conference
February 27, 2018
Dearly Beloved of God (John 3:16 and 17),
I hope you and your loved ones are in good health. This issue of the Ambassador has information about new developments and upcoming events. Please read both segments in the following update.
Since 2015, the foci have been: regaining accreditation, building the academic program, and increasing the financial stability of AUC. All of these areas work together to re-establish AUC as the only Seventh-day Adventist higher education institution in the Atlantic Union Conference territory: New York State, Massachusetts, Bermuda, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Preparing to re-establish an Adventist presence in the higher education arena, the local conferences which comprised the Atlantic Union Conference contributed subsidies to sustain the ministry of higher education in the northeast. The subsidies were faithfully submitted even during the suspension of classes from 2011-2015 when there were no students. The subsidy during this period helped sustain the campus and pay down the debt, from approximately $11 million to approximately $2 million. The college was thereby situated to offer degrees approved by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The perceived lack of financial stability of AUC was the basis for the suspension of classes in 2011, and financial stability continues to be the primary factor in regaining accreditation and approval to operate in the state of Massachusetts.
The administration was actively engaged with three organizations in the accreditation process: Adventist Association of Accreditation (AAA), to be recognized as an Adventist institution of higher education; NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges), to have regional accreditation as a pre-requisite for students eligible for federal financial aid to get it and use the funds toward tuition; and Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, to have the authorization necessary to operate in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The accreditation process with NEASC
was stopped by a vote of the AUC Board of Trustees and the Atlantic Union Conference Executive Committee. See their statement on our website, and on The Atlantic Union Conference's website. Request to Massachusetts Department of Higher Education to extend the college’s conditional approval to operate
has been stopped by a vote of the AUC Board of Trustees and the Atlantic Union Conference Executive Committee. See their statement on our website, and on The Atlantic Union Conference's website.
The decision made by the college’s Board of Trustees and the Atlantic Union Conference Executive Committee was based on a Feasibility Study requested by AAA, as a requirement to move the accreditation application forward for their review. The documents submitted in 2012 had become dated and were no longer applicable. This included the enrollment numbers and the degree offerings requested by the AUC BOT and approved by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.
Financial stability is again the reason for changing the operation of AUC.
- Low enrollment--as a restart operation the luxury of time to rebuild was not an option.
- Lack of accreditation--a process that may take more than the approximately three years of the current restart operation.
- Reallocation of subsidy to other educational operations that have historically co-existed with the college: elementary schools and academies.
- God knows what else… Reasons seemed to surface and be acted on in 2017.
However, there is hope. The Feasibility Study Committee is scheduled to meet in early March to confer on a model of delivering higher education in the Atlantic Union that will also serve the greater system of higher education in the Seventh-day Adventist educational ministry.
- Alumni Weekend April 20-22, 2018
- Commencement Sunday, May 6, 2018
- Atlantic Union College Constituency Meeting May 20, 2018.
- Alumni Weekend may have the largest attendance yet, since 2011.
- Commencement--these graduates are fruits of AUC’s restart.
- Atlantic Union College is a constituency college. A decision made by the constituency represents the desire of the church members.
More to come at another time. Be well. 1 Thessalonians 5:23.