SACS calls for Bentley's removal from state college boards, citing conflict of interest

The President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has recommended that Governor Robert Bentley be removed from all state college boards, citing a conflict of interest. SACS is the agency that accredits Alabama’s two and four year colleges and universities

SACS leader Belle Wheelan says she wrote to Alabama House and Senate leaders, in a letter dated January 10, 2017, at the suggestion of U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne.

Wheelan said the request that Bentley be removed from the boards was prompted by the establishment of the Alabama Community College system.

Wheelan stated SACS perceives Bentley’s role as Board Chair of the System as a “conflict of interest, in that the Governor also appoints the members of that Board, and has ultimate budget authority over all of the institutional budgets”.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has responded in a statement, saying, "We have received the letter, and we have acknowledged it. We disagree strongly with the assumption that the Governor has undue influence on boards of institutions. The Governors placement on the board is set up by statute and by our Constitution. And I'm going to obey our Constitution."