Regarding the 2018 Middle States Reaccreditation Process
November 7, 2016
Dear Rutgers Students, Faculty, and Staff:
I am writing to give you an overview of Rutgers’ upcoming regional reaccreditation process and to ask for your assistance as the process unfolds.
In the U.S., colleges and universities are required to be accredited (typically on a ten-year basis) by a federally recognized accreditation body as a condition of receiving student financial aid, competing for federal research grants, and participating in other government programs. To earn reaccreditation, an institution must demonstrate that it continues to meet established standards of quality in its academic programs and its administrative operations.
Since 1921 Rutgers University has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Our most recent reaccreditation took place in June 2008, when we received a very positive report from the MSCHE. We are now preparing for our next reaccreditation cycle, which will conclude in June 2018 when we receive the results of the reaccreditation visit by Middle States representatives that spring. In this undertaking, Rutgers will reaffirm its strength as one University with three dedicated geographic locations in New Jersey, and with associated locations and programs across the state as well as abroad.
The reaccreditation process involves the review and evaluation, by a team of external peer educators, of an institutionally-prepared, comprehensive Self-Study of the University’s programs and practices as they pertain to seven standards determined by MSCHE: mission and goals; ethics and integrity; design and delivery of the student learning experience; support of the student experience; educational effectiveness assessment; planning, resources, and institutional improvement; and governance, leadership, and administration.
The Rutgers Self-Study will be submitted to a peer evaluation team in early 2018, followed by a three-day visit by the team in March or April 2018. There are a number of components to the reaccreditation process that reflect our commitment to self-improvement, effectiveness, and the alignment of planning with institutional resources. Our assessment methods and how we incorporate our assessment findings into our ongoing planning and resource allocation across all standards will be a vitally important part of the review process.
To lead this collaborative effort, a Steering Committee has been formed to coordinate the efforts of seven working groups that each focus on one of the seven standards. The Steering Committee consists of senior faculty and administrators from across the University, students, and board members. Co-chaired by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Lee and School of Environmental and Biological Sciences faculty member Ann Gould, former chair of the University Senate, the Steering Committee also includes the co-chairs of the seven working groups.
Once our draft documents have been compiled, we will share them with you for your review through a series of communications, town halls, and solicitations for feedback; the final Self-Study will incorporate the input received. I ask for your cooperation and assistance with this important process as it is carried out over this academic year and next. We need the involvement of the entire Rutgers community for this effort to be a success.
For ongoing information on the 2018 Middle States Reaccreditation project and its progress, please visit http://middlestates.rutgers.edu. To learn more about the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, visit https://www.msche.org. And please feel free to contact the Steering Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, or feedback as we move through the reaccreditation process.