TEXAS CITY — Renate True has taught human anatomy and physiology at College of the Mainland since 1983. But starting next semester, the popular Brazilian professor will no longer be accredited to teach the anatomy and physiology class and will instead be teaching general biology.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reviews the accreditation of professors every 10 years, said Amy Locklear, College of the Mainland’s vice president of instruction.
The college was recently reviewed by the association, and two professors did not have their accreditation approved, one of them being True, Locklear said.
Locklear said the college has worked with True in an attempt to present new information to the association and change the ruling.
But the 76-year-old True said she felt the college had not done enough to argue on her behalf and has filed an age discrimination grievance, claiming the college is attempting to push her out of the way because of her age.
But Locklear said that while the college can make its case to the association, there is no negotiating. Whatever the association rules, the college must do, she said.
Accreditation reviews can often be difficult, Locklear said.
The ruling by the association is not a question of a professor’s professionalism. True is a well-loved teacher who has won numerous teaching awards. Students like her, Locklear said.
But unfortunately, Locklear said, the association does not look at teaching awards and popularity. The association is looking for a master’s degree and at least 18 graduate hours in graduate courses that match up with what the professor will be teaching, she said.
It is normal for a review to lead to scrutiny of at least one professor’s accreditation, and the association can be very particular, Locklear said.
But the college did make a case once already that True was qualified to teach anatomy and physiology. Locklear said she has asked True to come up with any information that could influence the association’s ruling. Locklear said she will then work with incoming President Beth Lewis to decide what the college’s response to the association should be.
Meanwhile, True said she believed she does have the proper class hours to teach anatomy and physiology. True said she received her doctorate in France but did work that would count toward anatomy and physiology as a postgraduate student at what is now the University of Sao Paulo.
After so many years of teaching the class, True said she was shocked to hear her accreditation had been revoked.
True said she has had papers published in physiology journals. To suddenly lose her accreditation seems unbelievable, she said.
Students love her class, she said, and she’s had former and current students express their support.
While Locklear said she couldn’t discuss the grievance True has filed, she did say she knew the stress that comes with a credential review.
“I think very highly of Dr. True,” she said. “This has been very stressful for all of us. I hate that we are having to go through all of this.”