For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                            July 10, 2009



LOS ANGELES – The accrediting commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges upheld the accreditation of Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, but placed the university on probation status.

In a report delivered earlier this week, the commission informed the university that it was on probation and offered several recommendations needed to meet key standards.

Among the recommendations, the commission called for improvements in campus-wide communication, financial and budgetary systems and data-based systems.
The commission asked for greater stability at the university presidential level and increased board involvement in fiduciary and strategic planning. It also cited the need for improvements in the systems of documentation, educational assessment and quality control.

Dr. Keith C. Norris, the university’s new Interim President, described the recommendations as a road-map that will help lead the university to a brighter future.

He said the he looks forward to working with WASC on the recommendations in order to “strengthen the university and ensure the highest level of quality education for our students.

“While we address many of the technical issues (in the report), we recognize the importance of maintaining consistency in key areas of educational effectiveness and institutional performance,” he said.

While on probation, the university will be scrutinized by the commission, which scheduled a special visit in the spring of 2011 to evaluate the university’s progress.

Dr. Norris said Charles Drew University was in the process of correcting some of the issues cited in the commission report before the inspection team from WASC visited the campus in early April.

Hard hit by the recent economic downturn, the university reduced staff, cut spending and went through an administrative shakeup—the kinds of difficult choices being made by other institutions to stay afloat. In addition, he said, the university still suffers from the financial impact of the closing of King Hospital.

Mr. Bart H. Williams, the Chairman of CDU’s Board of Trustees, said the commission’s recommendations will help the university chart a new course while remaining true to its mission: “to train health professionals, who promote wellness, provide care with excellence and compassion and transform the health of underserved communities.”

The public statement on Charles Drew University’s probation was posted today by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges at the following website:

John L. Mitchell
Media Advisor at Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science
Telephone: (323) 563-4981 or cell (323) 681-4225


CDU is a private nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution. Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated over 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals.  The only dually designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S. CDU is recognized as a leader in health inequities and translational research, specifically with respect to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health, and HIV/AIDS. The University is among the top 7% of National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded institutions and rated one of the top 50 private universities in research in the U.S.  Recently, the CDU/UCLA medical program was named the “best performer” in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians. For more information, visit                                   


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