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 Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


What we can learn from re-accreditation
Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano

After a year and a half of preparations by our campus community, the day has finally arrived. The 14-member re-accreditation site team will be on our campus Monday morning through Wednesday noon, Feb. 22-24.

Their task is to verify what we said about ourselves in a 358-page self-study, “Shaping the New Flagship.” We can expect them to ask lots of questions of our campus community and ultimately to make recommendations for the continued advancement of our mission.

The University of Colorado at Boulder has been re-accredited every 10 years by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1913, and we expect the same this year.

What’s different this year is that our self-study and re-accreditation is closely intertwined with our strategic plan, Flagship 2030, as we position the campus to be a leading model of the new flagship university of the 21st century.

Re-accreditation is of course an important process because it verifies that we meet standards established by our peers, provides assurances to the public about our quality, and it helps maintain confidence in CU and higher education in general.

It also allows students to receive federal financial aid and it eases transfer of academic credit.

In addition, this process of self-examination has helped us to see ourselves in new and exciting ways as we move forward under Flagship 2030. We have observed a strong commitment to environmental stewardship, a growing global reach in a diverse world, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, collaboration in discovery and creativity, and sustained vision and agility. These qualities will play a key role in transforming the university into the new flagship we envision.

Even as the site team members are evaluating the university, we want to take the opportunity to learn all we can from them. We will look to them for guidance on issues such as helping our constituencies understand and value the quality of our faculty and programs, sustaining that quality with limited state funding, and identifying advocates for achieving our vision and potential as a comprehensive research university.

We also will seek guidance on specific initiatives such as expanding international student enrollment, enhancing student learning through efforts like residential colleges, supporting new research collaborations, increasing graduate student enrollment, and finding greater operating flexibility and funding streams to help support our Flagship 2030 strategic vision.

It will be a busy and important three days for the future of the university. I look forward to sharing information about CU-Boulder with the on-site NCA evaluators, describing our challenges and opportunities, and I hope that you do, too.

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From the Chancellor

What we can learn from re-accreditation

Chancellor's budget update Jan. 29, 2010

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