Reaccreditation Evaluators Visit Dartmouth in November



Dartmouth welcomes a team of reaccreditation evaluators to the College in November. The group, composed of faculty and administrators from peer institutions, visits on behalf of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). (photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

A team of reaccreditation evaluators, composed of faculty and administrators from peer institutions, will visit the College on behalf of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) November 14 through 17.

In a letter sent to the campus community earlier this term, President Jim Yong Kim invited the community to join him in welcoming the group to Dartmouth. The reviewers, President Kim says, “have extensive experience at outstanding institutions of higher education. We value the input and perspective the reaccreditation process provides.”

The voluntary reaccreditation process is overseen by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE), which is part of NEASC, the regional accreditation agency for colleges and universities in the six New England states. Dartmouth was first reviewed and accredited in 1929, and now is evaluated approximately every ten years.

At the heart of the reaccreditation process is a 100 page self-study report that addresses the 11 standards for accreditation established by CIHE. The standards are, according to NEASC documents, “an articulation by the higher education community of what a college or university must do in order to deserve the public trust. They also function as a framework for institutional development and self-evaluation.” The standards cover categories ranging from “Mission and Purpose” and “Academic Program” to “Financial Resources” and “Integrity.”

The self-study report, says Provost Carol Folt, who chairs the reaccreditation steering committee, “tells a compelling story of Dartmouth at the start of the 21st century.” She continues: “More than 100 faculty members and administrators spent the last 18 months engaged in thoughtful reflection and analysis. Their examination of our curriculum and scholarly profile, administrative operations, and adherence to our mission over the last decade provides a broad perspective on our strengths, areas for improvement, and opportunities to further excel.”

Anthony Marx, president of Amherst College, will lead Dartmouth’s evaluation team. The evaluators will meet with faculty, students, and staff, both formally and informally. As instructed by NEASC, their purpose will be “to gather evidence that the self-study is thorough and accurate.”

Dartmouth’s Self-Study Report and other information about the process is available at the College’s reaccreditation website. NEASC also invites comments about Dartmouth to be shared directly with that organization, in writing, no later than November 17, 2010.

(Story updated 11/11/2010)

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