Message from Chancellor Susan Koch
October 25, 2013
As you know, the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Our most recent reaccreditation review was conducted in Fall 2007, and our accreditation was affirmed and continued for the full ten-year period, which runs through Academic Year 2017-18. Information about the 2007 process and outcome is available on the UIS web site at http://www.uis.edu/accreditation/. The HLC has revised its reaffirmation processes significantly over the last three years, and the new process focuses on both assurance that institutions meet compliance standards and evidence of ongoing efforts in support of continuous improvement. The new HLC pathway to reaffirmation is called the Open Pathway for Reaffirmation of Accreditation, and UIS has elected to use this pathway.
Under the Open Pathway, universities are still required to build portfolios of data and materials that demonstrate compliance with the HLC’s accreditation standards, but the new documentation process is online, and it will involve entering and updating institutional information throughout the accreditation review cycle. In addition, universities must propose and complete an institutional Quality Initiative that focuses on institutional innovation and improvement. A comprehensive institutional evaluation, including a site visit, will still be conducted by the HLC in Year Ten (2017-18) of our accreditation review cycle. While we are only through Year Five of our cycle, the new HLC timeline indicates this is the ideal time to begin preparations for the reaffirmation review.
With this timeframe in mind, I have asked Provost Pardie to assemble a core team of faculty and staff to lead our reaffirmation efforts. Their work will include developing an appropriate timeline and task list for the next four years, so that UIS is well-prepared to meet the assurance and continuous improvement aspects of accreditation requirements. While the core team will provide leadership for our efforts toward reaffirmation of accreditation, as in the past, everyone’s help will be needed to accomplish the work. Working collaboratively, the core team and contributing subcommittees will need information and assistance from all aspects of the campus to build an online portfolio that fully reflects the strength of our mission, vision, accomplishments, strategic plans, and commitment to excellence.
I hope you’ll take advantage of opportunities to learn more about and participate in these important reaccreditation efforts. Information and periodic progress updates about the reaffirmation of accreditation process and the status of our Quality Initiative will be shared with the campus community and also made available on UIS’ Institutional Accreditation web page.
Susan Koch, Chancellor