SBU maintains accreditation while on probation

BOLIVAR, Mo. — Southwest Baptist University (SBU) announced today that it continues to be accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) after a review of governance matters. SBU’s status has changed to Accredited (Probation) for a period of not more than two years. During this season, HLC will review how the school and its Board of Trustees have addressed three governance matters out of 18 Core Components it uses to accredit universities.

“SBU remains fully accredited,” University President Dr. Richard Melson said. “This action is based on governance issues and is not a reflection on the quality of SBU’s academic programs, faculty, or staff. Students’ grades, degrees, and eligibility for state and federal programs are unchanged. SBU has been accredited by the HLC since 1957, with our accreditation reaffirmed as recently as January 2020. We will continue working closely with the HLC during this period to make certain that we meet the Core Components for accreditation.”

SBU and its Board of Trustees have taken action to address HLC’s concerns. In its communications with SBU, HLC has noted the progress SBU has made but more time is needed to observe a sustained pattern of evidence toward full compliance.
“We are working closely with the HLC,” Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Eddie Bumpers said. “We have already taken substantive steps to address the matters identified by HLC. I am confident that under Dr. Melson’s leadership, SBU will become stronger than ever.”

Dr. Melson, who was named President in September, noted several promising indicators at SBU: the increase of our first-year class retention rate; SBU is recognized as a College of Distinction, with three academic programs receiving additional recognition; and our financial endowment has increased significantly.

“Faculty, staff, students and their families, alumni, donors, and friends can be confident in the quality of an SBU education and our commitment as a Christ-centered, caring academic community, preparing students to be servant-leaders to impact the world for Christ in a global society,” Dr. Melson said. “Let us rise to the challenges before us, take hold of the opportunities that await us, and partner together to lead SBU to its greatest days ahead.”

More information is available through a set of Frequently Asked Questions at

*Published: 11-9-2021