FROM PRESIDENT DR. BILL THIERFELDER
I would like to take this opportunity to bring you up to date on our recent meeting with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The primary purpose of the day-long meeting was to help us prepare and plan for Belmont Abbey College’s regularly scheduled ten-year reaffirmation in 2020. After the meeting was over we met with representatives of SACSCOC, and I want to share with you what was discussed.
Here are the most important facts:
- Belmont Abbey College remains fully accredited by SACSCOC.
- The College is in compliance with the overarching financial core requirement which emphasizes a sound financial base and demonstrated financial stability to support the mission of the College.
- SACSCOC emphasized that the College needed to have a sufficient cash reserve on hand above and beyond that needed to operate the College.
- During our discussion, we learned that SACSCOC is placing a greater emphasis on two areas that were not of issue for the College during its 2010 reaffirmation.
- The Monastery and the College have successfully operated for a 142 years, as non-profit organizations, on a cash basis; SACSCOC recommends we use the accrual, rather than the cash based method specifically in our unrestricted operations. We are in process of complying with their recommendation and will report an accrual based surplus in the 2017-18 fiscal year.
- Our financial strength has allowed us to consistently invest in student scholarships, new faculty hires and facility enhancements. SACSCOC’s has recommended that the College establish a cash reserve as a rainy day fund. We are initiating plans to address their recommendation.
- The College is in full compliance with all of SACSCOC’s other requirements and standards.
The next step in this process is for us to file a follow-up report in the fall of 2018 noting how we are addressing SACSCOC’s recommendations. In the meantime, I want to assure you that your Belmont Abbey education has never been more valuable, nor more respected. We have grown significantly over the last several years – in fact, we’re the fastest growing Catholic undergraduate college in America. We have welcomed more traditional students than ever in the last three years and good things like enhancements to student scholarships, the library and science building renovations, new athletic programs, and a top 10 ranking in U.S. News & World Report are all a mark of a College on the rise.
I invite you to join me in the upcoming Student Government Association (SGA) Town Hall meeting (March 5th at 7:00 p.m.) to answer any questions you may have. I also invite you to share this message with your parents.
Our Board of Trustees, our faculty and administration, and the Benedictine community are doing everything possible to ensure that Belmont Abbey College will continue to uphold our longstanding tradition of excellence. We are committed to your success, and I am confident that we will resolve this matter for the betterment of our College.
Dr. William K. Thierfelder