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December 11, 2001

ULM receives SACS update

The University of Louisiana at Monroe administration received an update from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) at that group's winter meeting in New Orleans today. Officials with SACS continued the official warning that had been issued in late spring 2001.

The continuation of the warning indicates that while progress has been made since the "no opinion" audit issued last year, there is still more to be done as the institution addresses the fiscal challenges facing it.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Tom Rakes, noted that ULM's receipt of a "qualified opinion" for its most recent audit is a strong signal that the university has set a course for correction that is working.

"The fiscal challenges that we have faced over the past few years have given us the opportunity to restructure internal operations and reorganize Business Affairs. As a result, we are in a stronger position to meet these challenges and move forward," Rakes said.

Upon releasing ULM's most recent audit this past November, Louisiana Legislative Auditor Dr. Dan Kyle commended the ULM administration for its work and noted that " to move from a disclaimer to a qualified opinion in just one year is exceptional. The University has made phenomenal progress."

Kyle and his audit team further reported that the ending fund balances as presented in the University's year end financial statements were fairly stated and that they believed an "unqualified opinion" is a realistic goal for the next audit cycle. As a result of this determination, the university is well-positioned to achieve its goals.

It is important to note the University's accreditation of those academic programs eligible for accreditation remains in place. ULM has reached a 98.2 % level for eligible, nationally accredited programs.

"The official warning simply alerts the institution that it must continue to comply with SACS requirements paying special attention to those relating to fiscal concerns. Our academic programs are sound," said Rakes. "In fact, many of our academic degree offerings are recognized nationally and internationally as being among the best anywhere."

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