RE-ACCREDITATION PROCESS Final Report Released For Re-Accreditation By Adam Jones Special to The Hoya

Charles Nailen/The Hoya University Provost Dorothy Brown releases the final report for the Middle States Re-Accreditation Process on Wednesday.

University Provost Dorothy Brown released the final report for the Middle States Re-Accreditation Review Process Wednesday. Culminating 18 months of work by 100 students, faculty and staff members, the 129-page final version was released in time for the next step of Georgetown’s re-accreditation process – a visit from members of the Middle States Commission slated to begin Sunday and conclude Wednesday.

Accreditation is necessary for schools to receive federal funds and for an institution to be viewed respectably, according to Brown. The final report is the result of data reported by nine re-accreditation task forces, covering areas from educational programs and curricula to the library and learning resources. Each task force also focused on areas for improvement, resulting in 26 recommendations.

While the commission members “can ask anything they want,” the task forces have “flagged these issues for them,” Brown said.

The main student concerns that are expressed in the recommendations include issues dealing with lack of space and facilities, a desire to be heard by the administration, healthcare issues including excessive waits for appointments in the clinic and increased faculty and student in teraction, Brown said.

The re-accreditation process happens once every 10 years and is “a wonderful health check” for the university, Brown said. “We’re really writing this document for ourselves, for our future,” she continued. “It allows us to see how close we are to living up to our mission.”

Schools in the same region evaluate Georgetown in the accreditation process. While the five Georgetown departments were evaluated individually in the past, this year the university opted to do a comprehensive study evaluating the entire school.

Associate Dean of the College Fr. Kevin Wildes, S.J., co-chaired the re-accreditation process with Brown and pointed to the massive amounts of information with which the committee was working.

“What we tried to do was build this report on already existing self-studies. There was a lot of data out there already,” he said.

The initial draft of the report was finished in the summer, according to Wildes. Since then, the steering committee – composed mainly of university faculty and staff – went through several revisions and “went out for public comment, trying to get feedback,” Wildes said. Drafts of the report were available for review and comment on the Provost’s Web site.

The final draft of the Middle States report can be found on the Georgetown Web site at http://www.georgetown.edu/main/provost/index.html.

“Our question to all the community is, did we get it right? Is this an accurate representation of who are?” Brown said. While not much response was received from faculty, “a very intelligent feedback [came from] the students,” Brown said.

On Sunday, nine members of the commission will converge on Georgetown from campuses across the middle states region and “use the report as a Bible,” according to Brown, for their evaluation of the school. Each of the nine members is charged with reviewing one of the areas covered by the task forces and conclude their visit with a reading of their findings delivered in the Hall of Cardinals. The report will then be delivered to the entire Middle States Commission and a re-accreditation decision will be transmitted to University President John J. DeGioia in June.

The re-accreditation process deals solely with the main campus. The Law Center recently finished re-accreditation with the American Bar Association and the medical center has begun the process with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

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