Accreditation is a sort of 3rd party stamp of approval that ensures universities or programs are meeting a set of national standards. If a university loses its primary accreditation, any subsequent degrees conferred by the university are effectively worthless. Obviously, this is a major concern for WVU, it's students and faculty and put the entire curriculum and sport programs in jeopardy. In a last minute bid to get back into the good graces, WVU board of directors joined with an accredited West Virginia school. This small, but legal loophole allows them to keep their accreditation. Not everyone will be happy with the changes needed to make this possible.
Starting this semester, WVU will be known as the John Marshall University Junior Research College. Students are already showing up to campus to protest the change. "This is insane," said noticibly shaken, Tara Millhouse, a sophomore this year. "My whole family have been WVU Grads. How can I look myself in the mirror if I graduate from Marshall?"
Ben Dover, a freshman was traumatized by the news as were many students. "I suddenly hate myself. I had to spray paint 'MARSHALL SUCKS' -- on my own car!"
"It is an unfortunate, but a necessary thing which we have done," said newly appointed JMUJRC President, John Hammond. "Only by placing ourselves under the auspices of an existing Accredited University were we allowed to run our current programs without interruption. Academically, students will still be eligible to obtain Federal and local financial aid. As for our successful and nationally recognized sports programs, nothing has changed. That means we are still in the Big 12 and remain optimistic about this coming year."
WVU is not the first school to lose it's accreditation. Mountain State University also had it's accreditation revoked in July of this year [LINK]. On the matter of WVU, Commission board members were alarmed by WVU's "...inability or unwillingness to conduct an internal investigation into inappropriate activity involving students and faculty during extracurricular activities.
"To wit, complaints focused on, but were not limited to a March 17th "St. Patrick's Day" party where faculty may have provided couches to students in resident halls for the purpose of burning."
The principal concern, however, deals with WVU's "Party School" status. In 2009 Playboy Magazine listed WVU at #2, however, by 2012 that status had dropped to #6.
Head HLC Trustee, Allen Nouttal said, "This concerns us greatly. If the leadership at WVU is unable to sustain their party school status, we have not choice but to remove their accreditation until such time they revive their status as a rockin' place to party on."