However, as another commenter correctly noted, BJU has not in fact applied for accreditation with SACS. As the Collegian itself admitted, BJU only began the multi-year process of preparing its SACS application at the end of last year. In other words, even an optimistic prediction from BJU itself does not allow for its SACS application to be submitted until 2014. The school would then have to endure the approval process itself, pushing the hypothetical date of SACS approval back to perhaps 2017 or 2018, even if BJU meets the requirements. Accreditation is not retroactive.
Harding’s deceptive comment is the latest in a series of attempts by BJU to keep prospective students wondering about the accreditation process.
In February of 2012, BJU News uncovered proof that BJU was using its intention to apply with SACS as leverage to draw in students, an unethical advertisement scheme which SACS explicitly forbids. When we contacted Gary Weier about the violation, he quickly deflected, but had the advertisement removed.
You can see the research that’s been done to show BJU has not applied to SACS yet, and information on accreditation timelines here.
It seems obvious that Harding was either intentionally dissembling on BJU’s intent and on the state of their accreditation process, or that he is himself so confused by the school’s doubletalk that he thinks they truly have applied.
Let us know if you’ve been told information about BJU’s accreditation status that violates SACS policies or that seems inconsistent.