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Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. - 3/25/09

The Importance of Re-accreditation

The day-to-day life of a university is often hectic. The rush of everyday tasks can make it difficult to find the time to pause, to take a step back and give a thoughtful look at where we, as an institution, have been and where we are going.

A university’s re-accreditation process provides that opportunity. In fact, it requires us to re-examine our vision as a university and explain what we are doing to achieve it.

Next week, an accreditation team from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities will be visiting our campuses. Of all the accreditations that our university must secure, the one granted by the NWCCU is the most important. Every 10 years, our university is required to seek reaffirmation of this accreditation. It provides outside validation of the quality of the degrees we grant, and maintains our eligibility for a variety of federal funding programs, including those which provide student support.

For a university, re-accreditation is vital. It is also an enormous undertaking. A university must compile and submit an in-depth self-study, addressing the standards of the NWCCU and how we have met them.  I greatly appreciate the countless hours of work that so many in our university community have contributed to this effort.  About 200 people from across the university played a role in this process, which began in 2006. Their work has been exemplary.

The self-study was presented to the Board of Regents at its January meeting. I invite you to view it on-line at http://accreditation.wsu.edu, a website that provides an excellent overview of the process and of the standards we must achieve.

The next step is the re-accreditation visit, during which a distinguished team of professional educators comes to our campuses to judge our self-study in light of their personal observations. Along with the April 1-3 visit to the Pullman campus, some team members will be visiting the Vancouver and Tri-Cities campuses March 30 and the Spokane campus April 2.

I encourage all of you, if you see members of the accreditation team on campus, to share your viewpoints and experiences. I strongly believe that the people who work and study here provide the best evidence of our university’s quality.

Re-accreditation is an important chapter in the life of any university. WSU has a great story to tell, and we will do everything possible to restate and reinforce our core values as we work with our visitors next week. I appreciate all of your help in that effort.