To the William Paterson University Community
I am pleased to convey the news to the University community that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education has notified us that it took action on June 23, 2011, to reaffirm the accreditation of the University. A copy of the letter from Commission Chair Michael Middaugh and the Statement of Accreditation Status is available for review in WPConnect in the section "Provost’s Reports."
Members of the University community will note that as part of the continuing accreditation process, the Commission has requested a progress report due April 1, 2012, and a monitoring report, due April 1, 2013, in addition to the standard Periodic Review Report, due in five years on June 1, 2016.
The subject of the progress report is "documenting implementation of a documented assessment process for general education" relevant to Standard 12 on General Education. As members of the community are aware, we are in the process of implementing a new University Core Curriculum, to commence in September 2011. At the time of the team visit, the University had proceeded in the planning of the UCC as far as identifying student learning outcomes, but we had not completed a plan for the assessment of those outcomes or of the program. For the past year, a committee, including members of the Faculty Senate UCC Council and Assessment Council, has been working on a UCC assessment plan, which will be presented to the Faculty Senate this fall. Looking forward, I am asking Provost Ed Weil, Middle States Accreditation Liaison Officer Steve Hahn, and Director of Institutional Research and Assessment Jane Zeff to help define the expectations of Middle States for this report and to work with the UCC faculty leadership through Professors Murli Natrajan, Jean Levitan, and Kathleen Malanga to respond to this request in a timely manner.
In anticipation of the issues raised with respect to the request for the monitoring report due April 1, 2012, we began to redefine the budget and planning process for the University before the Team Visit in March, and had initiated the first stage of the Strategic Planning Process, which is now underway. Looking forward, I am asking Chief of Staff to the President Bob Seal to work with the Strategic Planning Steering Committee to document their work and the development of the Strategic Plan in the implementation of the University-wide process for the assessment of institutional effectiveness, and the alignment of planning, resources allocation, and program review with the University’s mission and goals. Further delineation of responsibilities in this effort will be forthcoming.
The Commission’s actions reflect a very favorable disposition for the University. The requirements of accrediting agencies are increasingly rigorous, but rigor serves us well in ensuring that we thoroughly examine our policies and practices and provide assurance that we effectively and efficiently fulfill our mission.
Congratulations to all members of the University community who contributed to the outcome of the Commission’s reaffirmation of our accreditation. Please continue to assist in the ongoing process of accreditation review.
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