LIU Post has prepared for two years for the Middle States Reaccreditation evaluation team’s visit to campus from March 18 to March 20, 2013. The Middle Sates team will determine whether the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools will reaccredit the University.
Referring to the Frequently Asked Questions brochure, Middle States defines accreditation as, “a peer review process used to sustain and strengthen the quality of colleges, universities and other institutions of higher education. In order to earn and maintain accreditation, colleges or universities must demonstrate to colleagues from peer institutions that it meets or surpasses mutually agreed-upon standards.” Long Island University has been accredited by Middle States since 1955.
Middle States uses 14 different standards to evaluate universities. Those 14 standards are: Mission and Goals, Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal, Institutional Resources, Leadership and Governance, Administration, Integrity, Institutional Assessment, Student Admissions and Retention, Student Support Services, Faculty, Educational Offerings, General Education, Related Educational Activities and Assessment of Student Learning.
On February 26, in the Hillwood Lecture Hall during common hour, faculty, staff, alumni and students were invited to participate in an open forum to discuss the upcoming Middle States visit. During the meeting, the LIU community was informed that the team would use the 14 standards to determine whether the university’s mission and goals are congruent with its measures of performance and use of resources.
According to Heather Gibbs, assistant vice president and co-chair of the Drafting and Oversight Committee for the Middle States visit, the Middle States Evaluation team is chaired by Dr. Jack Varsalona, president of Wilmington University. The other nine members of the team come from institutions throughout the Middle States Region, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C.
The team will also travel to LIU Brooklyn, LIU Brentwood, LIU Riverhead, LIU Hudson and nine other unrelated campuses.
Prior to the Middle States Evaluation team’s visit, the University spent two years preparing a Self Study Report. At the open forum, Provost Paul Forestell described the report as “an evidence-based explanation of what we have done, are doing and will do to meet the fourteen standards.”
The report was written and prepared by the Drafting and Oversight Committee, Mission State Committee and five working groups consisting of faculty, staff and students, according to Kathleen Morley, university director of assessment. The 109-page self-study report is available online to anyone with a liu.edu username and password at www.liu.edu/About/Accreditation/Middle-States.
Between Monday, March 18, and Wednesday, March 20, the Middle States team will talk to faculty, schedule meetings with students and conduct random question and answer sessions during common hour to hear students’ thoughts about the University. Since the review is implemented every 10 years, it is important for the Middle States Accreditation team to hear if students and staff have or have not noticed changes in the University.
“LIU is proud of the collective effort of the university community in producing the written Self Study Report, which provides evidence of institutional quality and effectiveness,” said Dr. Lori Knapp, co-chair of the Drafting and Oversight Committee for Middle States and deputy vice president for Academic Affairs at LIU.
However, Knapp also revealed that, “Typically, Middle States finds that many institutions can show improvement in the areas of assessment linked to planning and resource allocation.” This means that several colleges, lack strategic planning and resource allocation needed to support the development and change necessary to improve and maintain institutional quality.
According to Rita Langdon, associate provost for Communications, Public Relations and Marketing, “An oral report will be delivered at the exit interview [where the team will inform the campus community on their personal recommendations] on March 20. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education will issue its official public findings in June 2013.”
According to the Middle States website, if LIU Post is not reaccredited the university will not be eligible for Federal Student Financial, grants and funds.
Freshman Music Education and Music Performance double major KaraAnn Leone said “If LIU loses its financial aid; I probably will not be able to attend Post anymore.” With that said, it is very important that LIU is reaccredited after this visit.