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UWRF to Receive Re-Accreditation Recommendation   

APRIL 25, 2008--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls will be recommended for the 10-year maximum re-accreditation to the Higher Learning Commission, University officials learned this week.

A seven-member site visit team informed Chancellor Don Betz on Wednesday, April 23 of its conclusion following a three-day visit. The full commission is expected to act on extending accreditation within several months.

Betz said that an exit meeting with the team was brief but highly complimentary of UWRF. "The team cited eight strengths: the high quality of an institutional self-study and the process that created it; that UWRF is truly a student-centered institution; Living the Promise--UWRF's strategic plan--is widely accepted and effective; the 'motivated, dedicated and highly competent faculty, staff and administration;' the clear dedication of UWRF to serving the St. Croix Valley; the institution's focus on sustainability; and the university's commitment to shared governance.

"They especially cited the outstanding enthusiasm in the turnouts of individual meetings with students, faculty, staff and community members," Betz said.

\Betz, who has served as a consultant-evaluator on review teams and has experienced five reviews at higher education institutions, added, "This is a superior outcome. The team clearly recognized the quality, talent, commitment and passion for teaching and learning here. Our faculty and staff impressed them with what they do and why they do it."

The site team recognized four areas of concern outside of the University's control: an increasing backlog of deferred building maintenance; non-competitive salaries for faculty and staff recruitment and retention; inadequate instructional space to keep pace with the region's growth; and "economic challenges into the foreseeable future" based on the state's weak economy.

UWRF has been continuously accredited since 1935. Accreditation is key to the perceived quality of degrees that are awarded, and it is a requirement to receive federal funding for student aid and grants for research.

During the current visit, UWRF responded to significantly revised accreditation criteria adopted by the commission. In preparation for the visit, a team comprised of university faculty, staff, student and community members worked for nearly two years to research and write a 276-page Self-Study Report, The report documented the university's actions to meet the criteria over the last decade and describes its future activities.

Betz noted that several members of the site team indicated they will share UWRF's report with their campus as a model to prepare for their own reviews.


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:59 Central Daylight Time


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