KU preparing to meet accreditation committee
Briefing distributed to key constituents for meetings with NCA
Key administrators, faculty, staff and students will meet with representatives
of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges
and Schools this month to reiterate KU’s commitment to research, education
The meetings, which will take place Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, will involve
a team of 12 consultant-evaluators from other research universities
KU’s Lawrence campus. Evaluators will seek to confirm evidence collected
in the past two years by a team of KU staff and faculty who examined how the
university satisfies the aforementioned goals.
The research was compiled into a 300-page self-study, which was completed
last fall and posted online. An executive summary of the document can
A briefing about the self-study recently was compiled to assist those
who will meet with NCA representatives at the end of January. Barbara
dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and leader of the group that
compiled the self-study, said all faculty and staff would receive an e-mail
copy of the briefing before the NCA meetings.
The self-study was an opportunity for institutional reflection,” Romzek
said. “It’s been a time to stop and look at what the university
does and how well it’s accomplishing its mission.”
KU is the first research university to opt for review under new criteria
for accreditation developed by NCA. In years past, Romzek said, accreditation
emphasized institutional resources, such as numbers of faculty and students,
sizes of budgets, number of books in the libraries, research activities and
Universities undergoing review this year had a choice of using the old
standards or the new ones. Under “mission-based” reviews, schools assess
how well they are meeting their mission and provide the site visitors with
evidence of their success. To demonstrate this, the accreditation review asks
the universities to demonstrate how well they are educating students, as well
as how they plan for the future, acquire new knowledge and engage in the world
We chose the new criteria for our review because we decided it would be more
useful to KU than the old way,” Romzek said. “We’ve learned
a lot about the university.”
Next year, all schools seeking accreditation from NCA will be required
to use the new method.
Romzek said the reaction to the self-study from readers across campus
has been amazement at the depth and breadth of KU’s contributions.
Romzek said she is confident that KU is in a good position for re-accreditation.
She said the self-study already had given the university invaluable information.
We have a much better sense of what the university is up to across the broad
range of its activities,” she said. “If the university as a whole
has a better sense of what’s going on, we’re better informed about
what we need to do next. The exercise is much like an audit. Now we know our
strengths and challenges.”