Alderson Broaddus is hit with utilities termination notice over $776,000 bill - WV MetroNews (2024)

Alderson Broaddus University has been hit with a termination notice for its water, sewer, and electric services because of overdue payments amounting to $776,598.70.

The utilities will be shut off by 10 a.m. Monday if the bill isn’t paid, according to a notice from the City of Philippi. The university still has opportunities to dispute the bill.

That’s another example of mounting pressures on the century-old private university. The utilities termination is set for the day before university officials are supposed to meet with a national accrediting agency that put Alderson Broaddus on notice over its finances just a few years ago.

Each bullet point represents a challenge:

  • This week, the university reversed course on bringing in a new interim president. The prior interim president will remain in place, according to a memo distributed across the campus.
  • At the same time, West Virginia’s higher education chancellor was visiting campus to assure progress, including on plans to assure students could transfer without friction if the university would be unable to remain open for the entire year.
  • This is all while Alderson Broaddus’s leadership builds toward another key meeting in one week with the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago, part of the university’s regular accreditation process.

All of that while the new school year approaches, and Alderson Broaddus hopes to make it through with the doors open.

Last week, the board of trustees had described talks with a new interim president with an emphasis on raising funds, but that plan has changed.

“After much discussion since that time, the Board of Trustees and Governors believes that is not in the best interest to change leadership at this time,” wrote James Garvin, the new president of the board of trustees.

So the most recent interim president, Andrea Bucklew, will remain in that role rather than returning to her provost position as previously intended.

“We place our complete faith in her expertise and that of her cabinet in leading the university,” Garvin wrote.

Bucklew will be leading a team representing the university next week before the Higher Learning Commission, which oversees accreditation for higher learning institutions, particularly in the central United States and including West Virginia. Alderson Broaddus is due for comprehensive accreditation.

The outcome, right before the start of the next academic year, is crucial.

“The Higher Learning Commission has a meeting scheduled for August 1st to discuss the institutional status of Alderson Broaddus,” Corley Dennison, vice chancellor for academic affairs for higher education in West Virginia, said at a meeting this month.

“One possible outcome of that meeting is, HLC could place AB on probation. That ruling would require AB to post on their website, in a prominent location, a statement notifying students and their parents the probation status. This would only complicate enrollment.”

In 2021, the commission sent Alderson Broaddus officials a letter determining that the institution “is no longer at risk of noncompliance,” removing the university from being placed on notice.

That letter assessed the university’s resources as able to meet “but with concerns” its educational offerings, saying the fiscal position had begun to improve.

A couple of weeks ago, West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission granted Alderson Broaddus provisional authorization for the coming academic year after twice delaying to gain more information.

Higher Education Policy Commission officials expressed serious concern that, as a worst case scenario, the university could begin the academic year and then experience a financial failure, leaving enrolled students without great options.

Alderson Broaddus representatives cited ongoing efforts by supporters to provide donations, as well as strategies to boost enrollment. They also described long term pride and deep roots in the community.

The Higher Education Policy Commission granted the authorization with several benchmarks that Alderson Broaddus must maintain.

By Oct. 1, Alderson Broaddus is supposed to submit appropriate plans to allow other provisions for students who might need to transfer if the university can’t be sustained.

Another requirement is to make arrangements to secure transcripts and financial aid records with a third party.

The university must cooperate with site visits requested by the state’s higher education chancellor or a designee. And the institution must provide any other information requested by the chancellor.

So on Tuesday, several of those requirements came to bear as higher education Chancellor Sarah Armstrong Tucker visited the campus to help ensure the provisions that the commission outlined, including teach-out plans, are on track.

Alderson Broaddus is hit with utilities termination notice over $776,000 bill - WV MetroNews (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ms. Lucile Johns

Last Updated:

Views: 6229

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ms. Lucile Johns

Birthday: 1999-11-16

Address: Suite 237 56046 Walsh Coves, West Enid, VT 46557

Phone: +59115435987187

Job: Education Supervisor

Hobby: Genealogy, Stone skipping, Skydiving, Nordic skating, Couponing, Coloring, Gardening

Introduction: My name is Ms. Lucile Johns, I am a successful, friendly, friendly, homely, adventurous, handsome, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.