Caroline MacGregor Published

HEPC Cancels Emergency Meeting To Address Alderson Broaddus University’s Financial Status

A picture of students walking up a hill to their classroom at Alderson Broaddus UniversityAlderson Broaddus University/Facebook

Updated on Thursday, July 27, 2023 at 5:20 p.m.

An emergency meeting scheduled Friday between Alderson Broaddus University officials and the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), which oversees accreditation for post-secondary institutions, has been canceled at the request of Gov. Jim Justice. 

Original story posted July 27, 2023

An emergency meeting has been scheduled Friday between Alderson Broaddus University officials and the Higher Learning Commission (HEPC) which oversees accreditation for post-secondary institutions. 

A few years ago the private Baptist university was placed on notice by the commission over a financial shortfall.

On Wednesday a notice posted on the West Virginia Secretary of State website indicated Friday’s meeting is “to address an imminent financial loss or other imminent substantial harm to the public entity, its employees, or the members of the public that it serves.”

Earlier this week, the City of Philippi informed the university that its utilities will be cut by Monday, July 31, if it fails to pay an outstanding bill of $775,598.70.

The notice of termination would affect water, sewer, garbage and electric services across the entire Alderson Broaddus University campus if the bill is not paid. About 800 students attend the university.

The city’s action is another indication of much bigger problems at the private university. This week, officials revoked a decision to bring on a new interim president. The state’s higher education chancellor also visited the campus this week to assist students with transfers should the university shut its doors.

Friday’s Zoom meeting at 10 a.m. will address the university’s finances but the HEPC’s primary agenda is the “Revocation of Alderson Broaddus University’s Authorization to Confer Degrees.”

Updated on Thursday, July 27, 2023 at 3:20 p.m.

On Thursday afternoon, Gov. Jim Justice issued the following statement regarding Alderson Broaddus University:

“I’m calling on the HEPC to delay this emergency meeting because no one wants to see this university close if there’s a way to avoid it. It may very well be inevitable, but we’re going to try really hard to find a pathway,” said Justice. 

“I’m going to meet with the HEPC, AB leadership, and legislative leadership to make sure we exhaust every single avenue we can before drastic action is taken. It’s simply too important, not only for this prestigious university and its alumni, but also for the entire community of Philippi and Barbour County.”