By Kaylee Lindenmuth
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education visited KU the week of March 4-9, with the purpose of evaluating the university’s decennial, or 10-year, self-study report submitted by the university.
The self-study report is required in order to maintain the university’s accreditation. KU has been accredited through Middle States since 1944.
According to the university website regarding Middle States, the process of developing the self-study report was guided by four questions: “Are we fulfilling our mission? Are we providing students with high-quality learning experiences? Are our assessments providing evidence that is sufficient for us to make improvements in the educational experiences we provide? And are we introducing innovative practices as part of continuous improvement?”
An evaluation team from Middle States visited campus between March 4 and March 7, meeting with various members of the campus community, including faculty members, administrators, students and the board of trustees. The evaluation team consisted of administrators and faculty members from various colleges in the northeastern United States, including Stockton University in New Jersey and Towson University in Maryland.
“As you are aware, colleagues from peer institutions within the Middle States region will be on campus…engage in an evaluation of our compliance with Middle States Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation,” said President Kenneth Hawkinson in an email to the campus community prior to the visit.
On Tuesday, March 6, the evaluation team met with a group of 61 students for a meeting and lunch, held between 11:15 a.m. and 12:45 a.m. in room 223 of the student union building.
The visit culminated in a presentation of the evaluation team’s exit report, originally set to be held at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7. However, a university weather closure postponed the report to 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 8. KU did not permit the report to be recorded via audio or video.