The evaluation team assessing Lehigh University’s institutional accreditation renewal will conduct its final campus visit from Sunday-Wednesday, March 16-19.
Colleges and universities accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education are required to submit a self-study for accreditation renewal every 10 years. The purposes of accreditation are to ensure that institutional processes meet standards established by the commission and that those processes remain aligned with the school’s mission and goals. The commission is expected to decide on the university’s renewal this summer.
There will be two scheduled opportunities for members of the university community to engage with the evaluators during their upcoming visit:
• On Tuesday, March 18, from 3 to 5 p.m., in UC 408 and 409, members of the team will be available to meet with any faculty or staff members who want to share thoughts with the team.
• On Tuesday, March 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., in UC 308, members of the team will be available to meet with any students who want to share thoughts with the team.
In addition, a number of faculty, students, and staff have been asked to meet with one or more members of the evaluation team on Monday and Tuesday, March 17 and 18.
Members of the university community are welcome to attend a presentation by Colby College President William D. Adams at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 19 in Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center. Adams, chair of the evaluation team, will deliver a public presentation about the team’s findings.
The centerpiece of accreditation renewal is the self-study, in which the institution presents evidence in support of compliance with Middle States standards, identifies areas where stronger ties to mission can be achieved and recommends ways to bring those ties to reality. Lehigh’s self-study focused on three areas: the first-year experience, technology support for learning, and advancement of student learning. Recommendations in these areas will provide input to the comprehensive strategic thinking process initiated by President Alice P. Gast last year.
Lehigh officials say they hope all members of the university community participate in the evaluation team’s upcoming visit, adding that they have tried to make the entire accreditation process as transparent and inclusive as possible.
“Multiple e-mails and Web postings have kept the campus informed of the process since it was launched in 2006, and members of every campus constituency have served on the committees and subcommittees charged with shepherding our efforts,” says Carl O. Moses, deputy provost for academic affairs and chair of the university’s accreditation steering committee. “At every stage of the process we have strongly encouraged faculty, students and staff to participate by offering feedback used to refine and inform the self-study. The evaluation team’s campus visit offers us a terrific opportunity to continue that effort.”
For more information on the Middle States process, visit Lehigh's 2008 Middle States Decennial Review Webpage.