Posted by: clholoman | July 20, 2010

Who’s Minding the Store?

Hilbert recently had a visit from a review team to determine if we are ready to offer our first graduate degrees. This is part of a process to be granted approval from the State of New York. When this is complete, the programs will also have to be approved by our regional accreditor, Middle States. Both of these organizations (the State of New York and Middle States) are in the midst of their own internal turmoil. (The saga between Middle States and their parent organization is a real soap opera.)

 All of this has me thinking about oversight and governance in higher education, which obviously has been a hot topic for a number of years—at least since Margaret Spellings rattled her saber during the last administration.

And it goes back to the ur-question of this blog: what is it that higher education in general and liberal arts colleges in particular are providing?

The president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (obviously not a disinterested observer) has a good column on this today in Inside Higher Ed.

 The worth of higher education, once judged by the quality of faculty, curriculum, research and academic standards, is more and more judged in solely pragmatic terms – earning a credential or getting a job or promotion. What happens to the essential role of colleges and universities in assuring intellectual development and vitality in our society? 

Accreditation’s Accidental Transformation

 The NYSED visit and another reading I did last night has raised some interesting questions about credit hours. Musings on that tomorrow.

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