On March 9, the Trustees of Washington Adventist University (WAU) voted a Memorandum of Understanding to open a branch campus at Atlantic Union College (AUC). According to the press release,
WAU would lease the facilities of AUC, and become the sole provider of higher education at the New England location. All provisions are dependent upon approval from the required accrediting and regulatory agencies.
This follows AUC's impending loss of accreditation due to its financial state. The regional accrediting body, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, set the date at July 31, 2011.
The expansion positions WAU to serve the educational needs of students in 15 states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States and the island of Bermuda.
Officials from both entities will now work together to complete a formal and binding agreement. This process will address key questions about governance, academic programs, and services in order to facilitate a smooth transition for both current and future students. WAU will then develop a business plan and seek approval from their governing boards, as well as state, regional, and church accrediting agencies.
Weymouth Spence, president of Washington Adventist University; Dave Weigley, chair of the Washington Adventist University Board of Trustees; Don King, chair of the Atlantic Union College Board of Trustees; and Norman Wendth, president of Atlantic Union College sign the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their institutions.