Here we go…

Since the University last underwent successful reaffirmation in 2002, SACSCOC has carried out a major revision of its criteria and published them as Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement. The new criteria cover many aspects important to the management of an excellent institution of higher education, but place a special emphasis on integrity, quality improvement, and student learning. Gone is the centrality of the old self-study, and, in its place, SACSCOC has established guidelines for two major documents. The first is the Compliance Certification where institutions report on different areas such as their assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness, financial and physical resources, mission and governance, academic policies, and support for students. The second document is a Quality Enhancement Plan, in which institutions outline a plan for improvement of student learning with participation of all campus units. For the first time, then, institutions in the SACSCOC region come out of reaffirmation with a clear, strategic document to guide them toward an improved student learning experience.

Tony Carey, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, is leading the Quality Enhancement Plan topic selection process. Georgie Donovan, associate professor and Coordinator of Bibliographic Services in the Belk Library and Information Commons, is leading the SACSCOC Compliance Certification process. In addition, a SACSCOC Leadership Team (comprised of our chancellor Ken Peacock, interim provost Lorin Baumhover, SACSCOC liaison Dr. Bobby Sharp, and Dr. Robin Byerly, associate professor in the College of Business) and several SACSCOC committees are hard at work on some of the most time-intensive reaffirmation criteria. For the next two years, all faculty and staff will be involved in the reaffirmation process in some ways, whether through committee work, through assessment, or through the development of our Quality Enhancement Plan.