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Campus input sought for 2012 accreditation visit

by John Greenhoe

Nov. 14, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU Dean Margaret Merrion.
Margaret Merrion, focused visit steering committee chair
KALAMAZOO--Preparations are under way for a March 2012 focused visit by Western Michigan University's regional accrediting body to review WMU's strategic planning process.

The focused visit will take place March 19-20 and will be conducted by the Higher Learning Commission. The visit will engage two peer reviewers from the commission in a dialogue about WMU's progress in university-level planning since the HLC's comprehensive visit to WMU in October 2010.

The reviewers will be provided with an update on WMU's comprehensive institution-wide strategic plan. The plan was created after an inclusive process involving faculty, staff, and students and includes assessment and outcome measures. The reviewers will meet with groups on campus to discuss the process of developing the strategic plan and evaluate data that show the steps WMU took to create and implement the plan.

"Although WMU has had strategic planning documents in place for many years, the Higher Learning Commission's work and observations served as a catalyst for us to more fully involve the entire campus community and integrate our planning efforts into a single, seamless document," says WMU President John M. Dunn. "We believe the finished product is a comprehensive planning document that will provide a road map to successfully guide our University for many years to come."

In preparation for the focused visit, a steering committee has been formed that includes faculty, staff and students from across the University and is led by chair Margaret Merrion, dean of the College of Fine Arts.

Each committee member invites questions and comments from the University community to begin a conversation about what it means to have a focused visit, what will occur during the visit, and how the committee is steering the process of self-study toward success.

Visit for more about the focused visit steering committee.

Visit for more about WMU's strategic plan.