Florida Memorial University Facing Probation Status

Florida Memorial University working to fix status.

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Florida Memorial University was founded in 1879, and it's the oldest and only Black university in South Florida.

But declining enrollment over a ten-year period and borrowing from its endowment fund perked the ears of educational accreditor Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

"The amount of withdrawal was somewhere around the area of six million dollars," Commission of Colleges. Dr. Jaffus Hardrick, FMU President said.

The Commission of Colleges then placed the University on probation until said issues are resolved or they could lose their accreditation. Some of the reasons were lower student enrollment and keeping the university afloat.

But now even if they were to lose their accreditation, which Hardrick says is unlikely, students would be able to complete their studies elsewhere.

And the University is now rebuilding. They now have an online Masters degree program, a football team after a 62-year hiatus, a band, and have enrolled more than 900 students this fall. And the endowment fund is also growing.

"Our endowment right now is increased to 8 million, when I came on board I put a systems in place to start replenishing the endowment," Hardrick said.

The College Commission will decide on the university's status next year in June.  

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