ASU Officials Meet to Discuss University's Finances, Credit Rating

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By Ashley Thompson

ASU officials met today for four and half hours to discuss the university's financial problems, the recent downgrade of the university's credit rating, and accreditation concerns.

Board members say they need to tighten their belts and make cuts. That was the message coming out of the meeting and they say that's the only way to get the university financially stable.

Alabama State University has been placed on a six month warning period with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for failing to comply with accrediting standards. The SACS report cites financial instability and conflicts of interest among other issues at the university. ASU President Gwendolyn Boyd says she's still waiting to receive a letter from SACS outlining how to fix the problems.

"It's difficult to be proactive when you don't know what the question is," she explains. "SACS gave us a list of six items and you've seen all of that. And so you can't answer a specific question until you get it."

ASU's credit rating was recently downgraded by Moody's Investor Service for the third time in a year and a half. Some board members believe the Forensic Strategic Solutions preliminary audit, which showed financial mismanagement, continues to hurt the school.

"We get cited by everyone for this," says trustee Herbert Young. "In everything we do, FSS is cited. In the Moody's it's cited and then it is cited in our SACS."

Young says he would like a final audit report.

"Transparency runs both ways and I think the board is owed that report regardless of what is is, whose indicted, we just need a full report."

University officials have launched '30 Days of ASU.' The school will be asking all alumni to donate at least 100 dollars in the next 30 days. Boyd says she hopes this new money will help the university get out of its financial situation.

"I would love to raise at least one million dollars in 30 days. That is my goal."

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Will said on Thursday, Jul 10 at 10:02 AM

Remember the old saying..."Why do you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result?" Until such time as there is a complete change in the Board of Trustees, ASU is going to continue to have the same problems over and over. It's time to get Elton Dean and the rest of his cronies out of the school and let Ms. Boyd operate with a Board of Trustees that has the best interest of the school rather than their own respective back pockets in mind.

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