Dr. Lisa Long, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Talladega College.

TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega College Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Long was elected to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees the association’s annual meeting in Houston, TX in December 2019. Dr. Long will serve as a member of the Alabama Delegation of the Board of Trustees. She was nominated to this position by Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins.

SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees.

In 2019, Talladega’s SACSCOC accreditation was reaffirmed for the next 10 years, and for the first time in the history of the College, Talladega was accredited to teach at the master’s degree level. The College offers a 100% online master of science in computer information systems. In January 2020, the College also launched Weekend College. Weekend College is one several Talladega College initiatives to make courses more convenient for students whose work obligations may prevent them from attending classes during the week.

Talladega also offers a 100% online FaskTrack program, which allows adult students to earn a bachelor’s degree in business/organizational management, business management, criminal justice, psychology or computer information systems in as little as 18 months.


About Talladega College

The oldest private Historically Black College in Alabama, Talladega College was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, William Savery and Thomas Tarrant. Talladega College is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals, which received rave reviews from the New York Times during a three year, eight-city tour. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

Dr. Patricia Sims, President of Drake State Community and Technical College.

HUNTSVILLE, AL – Dr. Patricia Sims, President of Drake State Community and Technical College, has been elected to the Executive Council of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees. The Executive Council is a thirteen-member committee elected bu the Board of Trustees responsible for interpreting Commission policy and procedure. It also functions on behalf of the Board between sessions.

Dr. Sims, who is currently serving her first term on the SACSCOC Board of Trustees, was also reappointed to serve a second term beginning in January 2020.

SACSCOC is a coalition of colleges in 11 southeastern U.S. states whose mission is to assure educational quality and to improve the effectiveness of its member institutions. Members of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees are elected to three-year terms by a majority vote of the members of the College Delegate Assembly.

“It’s an honor to be elected by my colleagues to serve the Commission in this way,” said Dr. Sims. “There is important work being done to help ensure quality and effectiveness at our colleges. I’m proud to be part of a system committed to education excellence.”

Dr. Sims has more than twenty-five years in the field of education. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, a Master of Arts from Alabama A&M University, and her Bachelor of Arts from University of West Alabama.

Dr. Sims was recently named one of ‘The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leader of 2020’ by the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), recognizing her leadership in transitioning Drake State to become the premier training institution for businesses in greater Huntsville.


About J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College

J.F. Drake Community and Technical College, a student-centered two-year public institution, offers flexible and affordable university-transfer and technical degrees, certificates, adult and continuing education, and customized workforce training to fulfill the diverse needs of the community. For more information, visit www.drakestate.edu.

During the annual meeting of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in New Orleans, Louisiana, the SACSCOC Board of Trustees voted to remove Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) from probationary status.

Dr. Everett B. Ward, Saint Augustine’s University president, announcing the news at a press conference.

In January 2019, the University will be notified by official letter of the commission’s decision. A year ago, SACSCOC Special Committee placed SAU on probation to give the University time to continue to make additional improvements, before a Special Committee of SACSCOC visited the campus two months ago to access the institution’s financial stability and institutional effectiveness.

“I am extremely pleased that Saint Augstine’s University has been removed from probationary status,” said Dr. Everett B. Ward, Saint Augustine’s University president. “The SACSCOC decision underscores that the SAU turnaround strategy with support from alumni, faculty, students and community partners is moving the University forward.”

“I would like to especially highlight and thank the Episcopal Church for its unwavering support. From President Bishop Michael Curry’s letters and encouragement, to the Church’s HBCU Committee and their consultants’ foundational, administrative, and advisory support, and to all who offered gifts of prayer as well as financial contributions.”

Financial stability has been a priority of Dr. Ward’s administration since his appointment as interim president in April 2014. The administration, along with external partners, implemented a plan to address all the issues of compliance identified by SACSCOC. By strengthening the University’s financial landscape, which includes improved internal controls, an increase in alumni giving and ending the Fiscal Year 201 with a surplus, Saint Augustine’s administration is positioned to increase enrollment and additional academic programs.

“The Saint Augustine’s University Board of Trustees is delighted to hear of the commission’s decision that ensures a positive future for the university,” said Rev. Dr. Hilton Smith, Board of Trustees Chairman. “We commend the university’s administration and staff to working vigorously over the past four years to address issues relating to financial stability and internal controls. From the beginning, the Board of Trustees and the University’s leadership team worked seamlessly to take Saint Augustine’s University to higher heights. We are also grateful to our external partners for assisting the University during this accreditation review process.”

“As a contributor of major financial, administrative and advisory support during this accreditation period, the Episcopal Church and the Presiding Bishop applaud the University’s academic accomplishments and its continued commitment to the greater community and Episcopal HBCU’s tradition,” said the Very Rev. Canon Martini Shaw, Episcopal Church’s Executive Council HBCU Committee chair.

Watch the full Press Conference.

About Saint Augustine’s University

Founded in 1867 by the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, the mission of Saint Augustine’s University is to sustain a learning community in which students can prepare academically, socially and spiritually for leadership in a complex, diverse and rapidly changing world. For more information, visit www.st-aug.edu.