On Valentine’s Day morning, the receiving area of the Syracuse University Bookstore in the lower level of the Schine Student Center was bustling. Fruit baskets lined one shelf. Other shelves held large bags called the Valentine’s Snack Attack—filled with cookies,…
Campus Feedback Sought on Proposed Middle States Recommendations
Syracuse University faculty, staff and students have just a few weeks to review and comment on draft recommendations proposed as part of the University’s reaccreditation self-study report for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The deadline for open feedback to the reaccreditation steering committee’s self-study report is Sept. 22; the final report must be submitted to Middle States for a preliminary review in October and for final review in December.
Specifically, the steering committee seeks input on four recommendations formulated in late spring based on the findings that emerged from the year-long self-study process. Each recommendation represents a commitment to Middle States that the University will take the stated action.
Following are brief descriptions of the four recommendations as currently proposed:
- Commitment to Assessment: Syracuse University will strengthen its rigorous and coordinated campuswide commitment to learning outcomes assessment.
- Institutional Learning Outcomes: Syracuse University will identify and adopt institutional learning outcomes, such as the proposed Syracuse 4+4, to ensure every student graduates with a core set of critical skills and competencies.
- Enhanced Support Services: Syracuse University will provide a full range of enhanced and coordinated student support services to promote academic success, career placement, and student health and well-being.
- Alignment of Resources with Priorities: Syracuse University will work to ensure that University resources, including funding, staffing, facilities and managerial attention, appropriately align with the mission and priorities of the institution as a whole and those of the schools and colleges.
“These recommendations affect faculty, staff and students across the University,” says Associate Provost Jeff Stanton, who serves as the University’s Middle States liaison and co-chairs the steering committee with Rochelle Ford, professor and chair of public relations at the Newhouse School, and Libby Barlow, assistant vice president for institutional research and assessment. “It is important that they accurately reflect our top institutional priorities for advancing excellence across the student experience. The more input we have, especially from those who deal with these concerns on a daily basis, the more successful we will be in ensuring that.”
In order to further solicit campus feedback, the self-study chairs have begun to staff information tables at various sites around campus, and an email appeal has gone out to all campus constituencies.
To submit feedback on the recommendations:
- Go to syr.edu and log in with your NetID.
- Read the full recommendation(s).
- Refer to the full report for additional context.
- Click on “Submit Your Comments” on the Recommendation page to share constructive feedback.
The report will remain posted until Sept. 22, after which final edits will be made with consideration given to campus community feedback. The final draft report will be submitted to Middle States by Dec. 22, and that document will be used as the basis for a campus visit by representatives of peer universities in March 2018.
Middle States accreditation is required in order for Syracuse University students to be eligible to receive federal financial aid. It also serves as a public indicator of quality and accountability, and that the University is operating in accordance with its mission, vision and higher education best practices.