November 8, 2013
|FROM:||Neil Kerwin, President|
|SUBJECT:||Public Comment Period on AU Middle States Accreditation Self-Study
Every ten years, AU goes through a comprehensive review for re-accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). As part of this process, a committee of faculty, administrators, staff, and students from across campus was assembled almost two years ago. This committee, which was divided into subcommittees to focus on various aspects of AU’s mission and programs, has drafted a comprehensive self-study report describing how AU meets the MSCHE standards for accreditation.
The report covers all aspects of the university, including governance, administration, budgets, strategic planning, undergraduate education, graduate and professional education, and faculty.
AU is committed to making its self-study report truly reflective of the accomplishments and aspirations of all university stakeholders. The draft report documents the tremendous transformation of the university over the past several years since the adoption of the current Strategic Plan and outlines AU’s initiatives in response to the challenges facing higher education in the United States today.
The self-study also recommends areas in which AU needs further improvements to address its challenges and meet the needs of our students, faculty, and staff in a changing world.
I invite you to participate in this process by reading and commenting on the draft self-study report. You can download the draft report and find instructions on how to submit comments through various means (including a blog and an email address) at the AU Middle States website, www.american.edu/middlestates.
The report is available in a pdf file that you can access by using your AU username and password. This website also contains other valuable information on the accreditation process, including links to the Middle States accreditation standards (known as the Characteristics of Excellence), supporting documents for the self-study, and a link to the self-study blog where you can submit comments.
The website also describes the accreditation process and lists the members of AU’s Middle States steering committee and subcommittees.
You may submit your comments electronically. The Middle States steering committee is offering additional opportunities for feedback at two town hall meetings in the Butler Board Room: Monday, November 11, noon to 1:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, November 20, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Also, steering committee members will be meeting with various representative groups of different campus constituencies, including student organizations, the staff council, the faculty senate, the Board of Trustees, and others, so you can also provide comments to your representatives on these bodies.
When produced in early 2014, the final report and recommendations will reflect this feedback from the university community, as we prepare for the site visit by the review team in March.
Thank you for your thoughts and input into this important endeavor.
AU's strategic plan, Leadership for a Changing World, outlines goals and objectives for the next decade at American University. Visit american.edu/strategicplan for more information. (myAU.american.edu login required for some documents)