WMU News

WMU set for accreditation visit

Feb. 13, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A team of 14 educator (click for list) from universities around the nation will visit Western Michigan University Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 19-21, capping off a two-year-long re-accreditation process through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The NCA evaluation consultant team led by Dr. Nancy Talburt, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, will conduct a comprehensive evaluation during its visit. Team members include professors and administrators from such higher education institutions as the University of Illinois, Indiana University, the University of Minnesota, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin.

Three public meetings during the team's visit will give team members a chance to solicit comment from various segments of the University community. The meetings will all take place from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, with several members of the team in attendance at each meeting. The meeting for faculty members will be held in the Lee Honors College Lounge. Staff members will meet with team members in Room 3150 Schneider Hall. A meeting for students is set for the Faculty Lounge in the Bernhard Center.

According to Dr. Linda Delene, professor of marketing and coordinator of WMU's NCA re-accreditation effort, the team has set an agenda that will allow it to examine a wide array of University programs and initiatives. Team members will meet with the administration and faculty leadership and with community members and alumni. At times during the visit, the 14-member team will break up into smaller units to meet with members of the WMU Board of Trustees as well as visit the University's regional centers in Benton Harbor, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek and Lansing.

Delene says it is likely the team will also request meetings with various vice presidents, deans, directors and program coordinators in order to insure they have information from a broad University representation.

"The team very clearly wants this to be an open process," Delene says. "Judging from the breadth of the areas they want to explore, it is apparent that they are going to take a comprehensive look at the entire institution."

Re-accreditation examinations are conducted every 10 years to insure that a university's programs, policies and practices are sound and of benefit to students and other stakeholders. An exhaustive self-study is the first step in the process. During the process, the commission also seeks public comment from individuals who live in the areas most heavily serviced by the institution.

Following the site visit, which is the final step in the process, the team will make its accreditation recommendation to the NCA's Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. WMU has been accredited by the commission since 1915. Delene says the University should receive written notification of the commission's re-accreditation decision by mid-April.

The NCA's Commission on Institutions of Higher Education is one of six accrediting agencies in the nation that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. Such accreditation, which is voluntary, is based on an evaluation of the entire institution and accreditation is granted to the institution as a whole. The commission, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, accredits approximately 950 institutions of higher education in a 19-state area.

For more information about WMU's re-accreditation efforts, contact Delene at (616) 387-3855.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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NCA visitation team members

Dr. Nancy Talburt (team leader)
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
University of Arkansas (Fayetteville).

Dr. Lynford Ames
Director of Distance Education and Professor of Chemistry
New Mexico State University

Dr. John Campbell
President Emeritus and Professor of Animal Sciences
Oklahoma State University

Dr. Della Cook
Professor of Anthropology
Indiana University

Dr. Narbeth Emmanuel
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Southern Illinois University

Dr. Fred Emshousen
Associate Dean, School of Technology
Purdue University

Dr. Leslie Flemming
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Ohio University;

Dr. Juan N. Franco
Vice President for Administration
New Mexico State University

Dr. Donald Hanna
Professor of Educational Communications
University of Wisconsin

Dr. Nancy Lohmann
Senior Advisor to the Provost and Professor of Social Work
West Virginia University

Dr. John Ory
Director of Instructional Resources and Professor of Education
University of Illinois

Dr. Douglas Priest
Associate Vice Chancellor, Administration and Planning
Indiana University;

Dr. Michael Schwartz
President Emeritus and Trustees' Professor
Kent State University

Dr. Alice Thomas
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
University of Minnesota.

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