Hampton University has filed suit in federal court seeking to stop the Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education from placing the school's pharmacy program on probation.
Provost Joyce Jarrett confirmed the suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Newport News last week after she was told by the council that there was no appeals process.
According to the lawsuit, Hampton University maintains they met almost all 30 measures for accreditation by the council but was cited for being only partially compliant with faculty salaries and not having an adequate number of faculty members.
The council had noted the faculty issues in a previous evaluation. Hampton University has been accredited since 2002.
Officials at the council's office in Chicago could not be reached for comment. The university remains accredited and probation status does not impact students currently enrolled in the program, Jarrett said.
The university wants a judgment declaring the council's decision null and void, enjoining the council from revoking the school's accreditation status or taking any other action against Hampton for two years, and awarding "compensatory damages in an amount that presently cannot be calculated" but in an amount not less than $100,000.
The lawsuit states that the council has placed the university in an "impossible situation" because the school must meet a June deadline to recruit new faculty members.
"With the stigma of probationary status, it will be virtually impossible for the school to attract faculty - much less excellent faculty - under the cloud of the public threat that the pharmacy program will lose its accreditation in less than six months if a sufficient number of other faculty are not simultaneously and immediately recruited," the suit states.