Successful Site Visit

Last week, the On-Site Review Committee visited campus and led a successful peer review of our compliance issues and our Quality Enhancement Plan!  Good results on every front; Appalachian's students, staff, and faculty truly impressed them!  Thank you for all of your hard work and organization!  

Below is the email that Dr. Peacock shared with campus following the visit: 


Dear Faculty and Staff:

This morning concluded the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) On-Site Reaffirmation Committee visit, and I was delighted to hear these words in the opening remarks of Dr. John Frederick, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas at San Antonio and Chair of the Committee: “I am pleased to report that you are compliant in all core and federal requirements.” Additional comments from Dr. Frederick and other members of the review team were extremely positive about every aspect of campus life. Thank you for your flexibility in meeting with the team members, preparing for the compliance-related aspects of the report, and working to develop a strong and thoughtful Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) on the topic of Global Learning. Following is a brief summary of the visit results and the next steps in our reaffirmation of our accreditation status.

The Reaffirmation Committee specified two Compliance Certification recommendations upon which we need to focus over the next five months; we will then submit a follow-up report, called a Response Report.

Implementation of a standardized process to apply annual faculty evaluation policies consistently across departments. This process should incorporate feedback on teaching assignments, assignment of duties for the coming year, and progress toward promotion/tenure as well as a second level review by the deans of those evaluations.
Implementation of a systematic process, including the development of appropriate rubrics, when hiring faculty whose credentials are based on experience instead of academic training in a discipline(s).
I believe we can work together on these recommendations and resolve them in the next few months.

Regarding the QEP, Reaffirmation Committee members were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for the topic of Global Learning and international education on our campus. They reaffirmed what we already knew: that this is the right topic for this campus. Their recommendations were related to ensuring ongoing financial support for the activities in the Plan and focusing our assessment efforts on those actions which are directly related to student learning outcomes as opposed to infrastructural improvements. Again, these are helpful recommendations upon which we can focus our attention over the months to come.

Once again, I thank all those on this campus who served on SACSCOC committees, whether for the QEP, compliance standards, or preparing for the visit, as well as those who focused on assessing the quality of our educational and support programs for the past years, and to everyone who responded quickly to the requests for information and documentation of our efforts. A special word of thanks goes to Provost Lori Gonzalez for her leadership and direction, and to colleagues Dr. Bobby Sharp, Director of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning, for serving as our campus liaison throughout this process, to Ms. Georgie Donovan, Associate Dean of Libraries, for chairing the Compliance Certification, and to Ms. Sonya Long, Executive Assistant, for providing the reviewers with a well-planned and organized visit.

I am proud of our success with this visit and appreciate each of you who played a part in helping make this happen.

With Appalachian Pride,

Kenneth E. Peacock