October 14, 2008
2009 Issue 3 

University welcomes visit by HLC's John Taylor

Visit continues Bemidji State University's drive toward reaccreditation

President Jon E. Quistgaard

This Thursday, Dr. John Taylor, director of the Higher Learning Commission's Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality and our self-study liaison, will be on campus to talk with us about the commission's self-study process as we prepare for our re-accreditation visit in 2010. During his visit, he will further illuminate the regional accreditation process, suggesting ways to strengthen our analysis and to avoid pitfalls that other higher education institutions may have encountered.
As I noted in my May column, re-accreditation is a University-wide effort with every aspect of the organization involved -- from administration, finance and facilities to academics, student development and athletics. The process requires us to gather and interpret data, cite research findings, share examples and chronicle personal stories as we provide evidence that we, as an institution, are true to our mission and vision.
For the past several months, a steering committee and five criterion committees have focused their energies on understanding the self-study requirements. They have been establishing processes for gathering evidence and laying the groundwork for telling the BSU story. A data team has been organized to locate, secure and store critical information needed by the committees. Meanwhile, a publicity team is focusing on ways to keep students, faculty and staff aware and involved in the self-study process.

The criteria, pillars of the self-study effort, call upon us to demonstrate that the University:
(1) operates with integrity and reflects the mission in all that we do;
(2) prepares for the future through the allocation of its resources and by using planning and evaluation processes that fulfill the mission, improve education and address future demands;
(3) has measures of student learning and teaching effectiveness that are related to our mission;
(4) promotes lifelong learning in an atmosphere of inquiry, creativity, practice and social responsibility consistent with our mission; and
(5) knows its constituency and serves them in ways that we and our constituents value.
We are pleased that Dr. Taylor will be visiting campus. As a result of his visit, we will gain a deeper understanding of the self-study process and a clearer picture of the ways in which each of us can contribute to the process. I encourage you to attend his all-campus session, if your schedule permits. The session is this Thursday, October 15, from 1:15 p.m. -- 2:15 p.m. in the Crying Wolf Room of Hobson Memorial Union.
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