The region’s higher education accrediting agency will review whether its standards are being violated by Gordon College after the Christian school’s public opposition to hiring protections for gays and lesbians shed light on its longstanding policies prohibiting gay activities among students, faculty, and staff.
While it is not unusual for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Commission on Institutions of Higher Education to review schools in light of news reports and other “unsolicited information,” the body has never dealt with a case involving potential sexual orientation-related discrimination, said the commission’s director, Barbara E. Brittingham
“There’s considerable publicity about the whole issue, and it’s been getting a lot of attention,” Brittingham said in a phone interview Friday. “It’s a matter of looking at the information we have and deciding if the institution is meeting our standards.”
Brittingham declined to predict what the commission members may ultimately decide at their next meeting in September, when they are scheduled to discuss the controversy over Gordon.
Revoking accreditation is a “very drastic” and rare step, Brittingham said. The US Education Department typically pulls federal financial aid funding from schools that lose accreditation.
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