Texas College on Probation

Texas College in Tyler has been put on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The college's president, Billy Hawkins, Ph.D., says the institution was put on probation because of low cash reserves. Hawkins says the historically black college regained its accreditation in 2001 after losing the seal of approval several years before. Dr. Hawkins says just this fall, Texas College took on some big renovation projects, including its main academic building, the Moody Science Center. He says that is the reason why the college's bank account is low in funds.

"We're operating fine," Hawkins said. Our enrollment's tripled 268 percent since I've been here, 281 students to 1,035 students. We felt that we were demonstrating financial stability. And that's essentially what they want to see. And they felt that basically, they need to hold us another year."

In the past, Texas College has held some high-profile fundraisers, involving people like radio personality Tom Joyner and baseball player Hank Aaron. Hawkins says he plans to continue similar fundraising efforts and reach out to alumni and the community. He also says he's set a goal to raise $1 million for Texas College by next September's deadline. Hawkins says Texas College is accredited through 2006, as long as it can get out of probation next year.

Julie Tam, reporting.