Preserving Higher Education: Vigilance is Essential

September
2007
Janet Fulks, Accreditation and Student Learning Outcome Ad Hoc Committee

You may not know this, but higher education dodged a bullet this summer. Attacks on peer review regional accreditation have been continuous and widespread. Before you consider joining in the attack on current accreditation practices, ask yourself if you are willing to turn over the process of accreditation to federal accountability measures.

While many faculty completed spring final exams and transitioned into summer activities, a battle was raging. Spellings and the U.S. Department of Education, along with other special interest groups, probed every potential soft spot in higher education. Their focus was to discredit and disable regional peer accreditation as we know it. The allegations made against accreditation basically claimed that regional peer review cannot work and that accreditation has gotten worse in the last five years with regards to its inability to hold higher education institutions accountable. Their answer, federalize the process.

In an attempt to support the regional accreditation associations, and preserve the individuality of our American Higher Education, the Senate Executive Committee sent a letter to involved parties.

In addition, the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (ICAS) which includes faculty representatives from the University of California, the California State University System, and the California Community College System, sent a letter advocating for regional accreditation processes. Copies of these letters are below. Please read these important statements which represent millions of students and thousands of faculty supporting regional peer accreditation. Become familiar with the issues necessary to preserve higher education. In order to examine the latest updates that describe the battle lines look at Here We Go Again...Sin, Salvation and Accreditation at http://www.chea.org/ia/IA_072007.html from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the American Council of Trustees and Alumni's (ACTA) Why Accreditation Doesn't Work and What Policymakers Can Do About It at http://www.goacta.org/publications/Reports/Accreditation2007Final.Pdf

The articles published in the Rostrum do not necessarily represent the adopted positions of the academic senate. For adopted positions and recommendations, please browse this website.