MUSG briefed on Marquette Accreditation Reaffirmation

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IMG_5422Marquette Student Government met with the co-chairs of the university’s Reaffirmation and Accreditation Initiative at MUSG’s first meeting last Thursday to discuss the university’s findings regarding its self-study report.

The talk to MUSG was one of 45 presentations planned by Gary Meyer, vice president for undergraduate programs and teaching, and Thomas Peters, senior associate vice president, for different organizations around campus.  The talks provide details about the upcoming on-site review by members of the Higher Learning Council, the accrediting body of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

“We think it is very important to reach out to (MUSG),” Meyer said. “We were here two years ago, telling them what we were going to do, and now we are sharing the results of that with them. And hopefully they will distribute the results of that out through their constituencies as well.”

Marquette was last reaffirmed in 2004 and will need to face reaffirmation again this academic year in order to qualify for federal financial aid.

The first step in the reaffirmation process was the completion of the self-study report, which is available online at marquette.edu/accreditation. The report focuses on five criteria that the HLC examined to determine whether Marquette merits reaffirmation. The criteria are mission; integrity – ethical and responsible conduct; teaching and learning – quality, resources and support; teaching and learning – evaluation and improvement; and resources, planning and institutional effectiveness.

The report found that Marquette meets all requirements and expectations in each area, and outlined challenges and opportunities for improvement.  A particular goal is regaining the university’s “Research Universities – High research activities” classification from the Carnegie Institute, which was lost following the release of new rankings in 2011.

The next step in the process will be an on-site visit by the HLC evaluation team from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3. The team is made up of nine deans and professors from other universities, and will be chaired by Mary Kunes-Connell, associate dean of academic affairs at Creighton University.

Following its visit, the HLC team will file a report that Marquette will have an opportunity to review. The university will receive notice of its reaffirmation by the end of the academic year.

Peters said he was very happy with the Marquette community’s response to the self-evaluation process.

“I was very happy to see the willingness on the part of the university community to embrace this effort and be ready for change,” Peters said. “I’ve been here for 26 collective years and I’ve never felt it the way I do now.”

MUSG also passed two pieces of legislation during this year’s inaugural meeting. The first was an amendment to the constitution – authored by outgoing Schroeder Hall senator Thomas Schick, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences – that removed the phrase “for December commencement” from the Senior Speaker Selection Procedures, reflecting the end of the winter ceremony.

“We wanted to keep our constitution consistent and up to date with university procedures, so we simply removed the words ‘December commencement’ from the senior speaker portion of our constitution,” Schick said.

The other piece of legislation was the approval of a $3,000 SOF allocation to the Marquette Chorus. Senate approval is necessary for all allocations over $2,500.

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