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Information Sessions to Brief University Community on Middle States Reaccreditation Process
The Steering Committee guiding the University’s effort to secure reaccreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education has scheduled two information sessions for the campus community on Friday, Oct. 7. The sessions will serve to brief interested students, faculty and staff on the reaccreditation process now underway and to give an overview of its purpose and significance for the entire University community.
The information sessions are scheduled for 11 a.m.-noon and 2-3 p.m. and will be located in Newhouse 1, Room 101. They will be led by Steering Committee co-chairs Rochelle Ford, professor and chair of the public relations department in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and Libby Barlow, assistant vice president in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be available. If you need an accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please contact Melissa Anne Lowry at 443-4119 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Sept. 30.
Syracuse University must undergo the full reaccreditation process every 10 years and a periodic review every five years in order to retain its Middle States accreditation. The University currently is at the 10-year self-study mark, which includes a Middle States peer review site visit in the spring of 2018.
Middle States accreditation is a critical designation for the University, signaling to its peers and to other stakeholders, including the federal government, that the University is operating acceptably and in accordance with its mission, vision, and higher education best practices. It serves as a public indicator of educational quality and institutional accountability.
Recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, accreditation also is required in order for Syracuse students to be eligible for federal student aid.
Beyond the direct implications for federal financial aid, the reaccreditation process serves two other important purposes: It functions as a means for higher education institutions to self-monitor one another and as an opportunity for each institution to reflect on how it is currently performing in terms of its mandate and how it might continue to improve.
In addition to assessing how well Syracuse meets Middle States criteria for reaccreditation, the self-study process engages the campus community in a critical self-evaluation of the University’s educational programs, student services and administrative units. It also will help generate benchmarking data and information that will inform the work of implementing the new Academic Strategic Plan.
The reaccreditation process, which Syracuse last conducted in 2008, includes a two-year self-study of the University’s academic and co-curricular programs and functional operations as well as a peer review by an external team of higher education professionals. The current self-study planning began in the fall of 2015 and will culminate with a final report to Middle States by December 2017. The University community will provide feedback on the self-study draft in late spring 2017 through early fall 2017 before the final submission to Middle States in December.
A team visit from a Middle States peer review team will follow in spring of 2018, with final action by Middle States on reaccreditation by fall 2018.
The self-study process—which will identify University strengths as well as areas that can be improved upon—is designed to be broadly inclusive. Approximately 145 faculty, staff, students and trustees from across the schools, colleges and other institutional units are expected to be involved, especially through serving on working teams that will assess how the University is meeting each of the study criteria. The steering committee, appointed by the Office of the Provost, is charged with overseeing the process and guiding completion of the final self-study report.
In addition to Ford and Barlow, the effort will be led by Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Jeff Stanton, who serves as accreditation liaison.
Members of the Steering Committee include:
- David Bartell, Executive Director of Outreach Programs, Office of Alumni Engagement
- Carol Boll, Public Affairs Writer/Researcher
- Shiu-Kai Chin, Provost Faculty Fellow and Professor, College of Engineering and Computer Science
- Gabe Coleman, Project Manager
- Dan Cutler, Director of Learning Communities; Associate Director, Office of Residence Life
- Lisa Dolak, Senior Vice President and University Secretary; Professor, College of Law
- Gerald Edmonds, Assistant Provost, Academic Affairs
- Jerry Evensky, Professor, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
- Jean Gallipeau, University Comptroller
- Jenny Gluck, Associate Chief Information Officer, Academic Services
- Kathleen Hinchman, Associate Dean and Professor, School of Education
- Can Isik, Senior Associate Dean and Professor, College of Engineering and Computer Science
- Candace Campbell Jackson, Vice President and Chief of Staff, Chancellor’s Office
- Rajesh Kumar, Graduate Student; President, Graduate Student Organization
- Joan Nicholson, University Trustee
- David Pajak, Director of Risk Management
- Kira Reed, Associate Professor, Whitman School of Management
- Sam Scozzafava, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Information Technology Services
- Pamela Socker, Director of Compensation Strategy, Human Resources
- Sonia Suchak, Undergraduate Student, College of Arts and Sciences
A website—middlestates.syr.edu—has been launched to keep the campus community informed of the reaccreditation process. The website includes a link to the full self-study design plan as well as a mechanism for providing feedback relating to the self-study plan or any other aspect of the reaccreditation process.