Accreditation consultant to be on campus Sept. 15

by Bill O'Neill, UNMC public affairs | September 02, 2005

A consultant/representative from the association that will re-accredit UNMC will be on campus on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Plan to attend
All UNMC faculty, staff and students are invited to attend a forum to meet and to ask questions of Dr. Appleson. The forum will begin at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, in the Eppley Science Hall Amphitheater. Cookies and refreshments will be served.

Two-way communication will be available between the forum and sites at other UNMC campuses. Those sites include the Dixon Lecture Hall at the College of Dentistry in Lincoln, and the following College of Nursing sites: Lincoln, Commerce Building, Room 307; Kearney, West Center Building, Room 148; Scottsbluff, Room 2005, Panhandle station.

Robert Appleson, Ph.D, associate director of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), will meet with campus officials and accreditation leaders during his one-day visit. UNMC is an accredited member of the NCA.

"Dr. Appleson will serve as a consultant to us at this stage in the process," said David Crouse, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and a member of the accreditation's Executive Committee. "He will critique our timeline, our preliminary table of contents for the self-study document, our communications with the campus and community such as the current surveys, and numerous other facets of the re-accreditation process."

Dr. Crouse is one of four members of the Executive Committee. John Benson, M.D., professor of internal medicine, chairs the committee. Other members include John Adams, Ph.D., assistant vice chancellor for budget and strategic planning, and Mary Helms, associate professor/associate director of the McGoogan Library of Medicine.

In April, the Executive Committee members attended the NCA conference in Chicago, where they learned more about the self-study process and exchanged ideas and information with others who had gone through re-accreditation. Although UNMC is emulating some of the best ideas, it is unique because it is the only free-standing comprehensive academic health science center in the NCA region.

"Certainly, we think that we have a good start on our self-study, but there are many details involved in this process, and Dr. Appleson very well could alert us to a few things that we overlooked," Dr. Crouse said. "We are confident, he will provide us with some invaluable counsel about how to continue."

UNMC's re-accreditation will be judged on five criteria and several "core components" of those criteria. Generally, the criteria involve UNMC's mission and integrity in carrying out its mission; its focus on the future; its student learning and effective teaching; its research enterprise; and its community service.

The comprehensive self-study will be summarized in a report to the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Also as part of the accreditation process, the commission will send a team in January 2007 to evaluate UNMC and to speak with faculty, students and staff. UNMC will find out later that year whether it will receive continuing accreditation.

More on UNMC's re-accreditation process can be found at www.unmc.edu/nca.