The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) is undertaking reaccreditation of the University, which will culminate in a site visit in 2013. CIHE, the regional accreditation agency for colleges and universities in New England, reviews accreditation status every ten years.
In addition to the site visit, a major component of the reaccreditation process is a comprehensive self-study report, which requires the University to undertake a self-study (i) to measure institutional quality and effectiveness and (ii) to evaluate itself according to CIHE standards. Suffolk University last undertook a comprehensive self-study from 2000-2002 in connection with its reaccreditation by CIHE in 2002.
As it has in past accreditations, the University established a Steering Committee to initiative the process. The Steering Committee established eleven subcommittees to address each of the eleven CIHE standards of quality and effectiveness. The eleven standards address the following institutional activities:
- Mission and Purposes (Standard 1)
- Planning and Evaluation (Standard 2)
- Organization and Governance (Standard 3)
- The Academic Program (Standard 4)
- Faculty (Standard 5)
- Students (Standard 6)
- Library and Other Information Resources (Standard 7)
- Physical and Technological Resources (Standard 8)
- Financial Resources (Standard 9)
- Public Disclosure (Standard 10)
- Integrity (Standard 11)
The Steering Committee and vice presidents recommended faculty, staff, and administrators to serve on each of the subcommittees. The Steering Committee, the chairpersons, and all subcommittee members first convened on March 24, 2010 for an initial meeting to discuss the role of the subcommittees and the resources available to support each subcommittee. The Associate Director from CIHE attended the meeting to provide an overview of the self-study process.
In December 2011, Dr. Sebastián Royo was appointed NEASC Accreditation Liaison Officer, with the task of leading the University in its accreditation efforts. In March 2012, the NEASC subcommittees were reconfigured for greater inclusion, which included the addition of student or alumni representatives each subcommittee. Under his direction, the subcommittees have met regularly since the launch of this process, engaging the entire University community. Please see the timeline for more information about important dates during the self-study process.
The comprehensive, institution-wide self-study will form the basis of the site visit, October 20-23, 2013, during which time a visiting team of peer evaluators from other colleges and universities similar to ours, will come to campus and further assess Suffolk University. After the site visit, the visiting team will submit a written report to NEASC and to the University regarding their assessment. The University will have an opportunity to respond to the visiting team’s written report. Ultimately, CIHE will consider the self-study, the visiting team report, and the University’s response in its decision regarding the University’s accreditation status. Finally, in 2018-2019, NEASC will conduct a five-year review, in which the University will consider its progress since 2013.