The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) was founded in 1895, and serves as the primary regional accreditation agency for institutions of higher education in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and parts of Latin America. Regional accreditation is overseen by the SACS College Delegate Assembly, comprised of one voting representative for each member institution. Member institutions are non-profit educational entities who have voluntarily associated themselves with SACS through the accreditation process. An institution may become eligible for accreditation during the calendar year of its first graduating class. An institution seeking accreditation must prepare an analytical report, undergo a site evaluation by a committee, and attend a review hearing. The initial accreditation must be reaffirmed within four years, and the institution must complete periodic self-studies every ten years through the Institutional Self-Study program. Visiting committees present periodic reports and recommendations to the SACS Commission on Colleges and the Executive Council (both subsidiary bodies of the College Delegate Assembly). The University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler), then operating as Tyler State College (TSC), initiated the accreditation process in 1972 under the administration of President Dr. James H. Stewart. TSC received official Correspondent Member Status in November of 1972, completing the first step towards full accreditation. After submitting a self-study status report and corresponding with SACS evaluators, TSC was designated a Candidate for Accreditation. This new status made TSC subject to evaluation by a Visiting Committee of qualified evaluators. The TSC Visiting Committee was chaired by Dr. Joe B. Ezell, with the first visit taking place in September 1973. In September 1974, Tyler State College hosted the Visiting Committee again and prepared a self-study report in response to Visiting Committee recommendations. Tyler State College received its initial accreditation in 1974 (according to the SACS website). Pursuant to SACS guidelines, TSC began preparing for its initial reaffirmation. In 1975, the college changed its name to Texas Eastern University (TEU). TEU submitted its initial Self-Study Report to SACS in 1978. During this reaffirmation process, TEU joined the University of Texas system, becoming the University of Texas at Tyler in the fall of 1979. After subsequent site visits and follow up reports throughout 1978 and 1979, SACS renewed UT Tyler’s accreditation in 1980. UT Tyler successful maintained its accreditation in 1990, 2000, and 2010. SACS accreditation for UT Tyler is distinct from accreditation for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (a unique entity), and does not include specialized accreditation for specific departments such as engineering, nursing, education, accounting, and business. Note written by Office of the President, University of Texas at Tyler.