Belle Wheelan to retire as head of Southern accreditor

Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern Affiliation of Faculties and Faculties’ Fee on Faculties, will retire subsequent June after what can have been 20 years within the function, the accrediting company introduced Monday.

photo of Belle Wheelan

Belle S. Wheelan

Wheelan, who served as Virginia’s training secretary and as president of two group faculties in Virginia earlier than taking the reins at SACS in 2005, has been an influential, outspoken—and generally controversial—determine in accreditation and federal coverage circles.

She broke quite a few racial and gender limitations in her profession and in her function as an accreditor advocated for variety in addition to for pupil studying.

Wheelan has incessantly pushed again towards federal efforts to dictate how accreditors assess the efficiency and high quality of schools and universities, typically arguing towards “vivid line” indicators of pupil studying and difficult political affect in public greater training.

SACSCOC’s aggressive stance on such issues has incessantly made Wheelan and the accreditor a goal for critics. Traditionally Black faculties and universities have at occasions accused the accreditor of unfairly concentrating on the establishments, a cost that made Wheelan bristle.

And political leaders in a number of Southern states have inspired (and in Florida’s case required) their establishments to search out options to the Southern accreditor.

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