Statement of President Marlene Moore
I am writing to thank you for your participation in and support of the activities we initiated last November to gather information from you about how NWCCU can better achieve its mission of assuring educational quality, enhancing institutional effectiveness, and fostering continuous improvement. Your response to the survey and participation in the Annual Meeting and Town Halls guided development of a report from the Task Force on Renewal of Recognition that was accepted by the Board of Commissioners at its January 2018 meeting.
One of the most consistent recommendations received was that we improve communication with the member institutions. This message is part of a larger communication strategy that we are implementing to move forward on the recommendations of the Task Force.
The Board of Commissioners approved four changes:
- The Commissioners revised the bylaws to create five standing committees that will bring together Commissioners, representatives of member institutions, and Commission staff. More information about each of these committees can be found in the revised bylaws (available here). The committees are as follows:
a. The Nominating and Development Committee is responsible for ongoing review and recommendations to enhance the quality of NWCCU.
b. The Bylaws, Standards, and Policy Committee is responsible for ongoing evaluation of the Commission’s activities and such other duties as the Commission Chair may direct.
c. The Finance Committee is responsible for reviewing the annual operating and capital budgets, considering requests for funds from Commission committees and task forces, reporting the proposed requests with recommendations to the Commission Executive Committee, and presenting financial reports to the Commission.
d. The Audit Committee is responsible for addressing all compliance issues, recommending the independent auditor, and addressing conflict of interest issues with respect to contracts or financial transactions.
e. The Accreditation Evaluator Committee is responsible for recruitment, training, and recommendation of individuals to serve on the NWCCU Accreditation Evaluator Council.
- The Commissioners approved a budget variance for this year that allows the office to make a major investment in technology.
- The Commissioners charged the Commission office with scheduling the next Annual Meeting and communicating the date as soon as possible.
- At a previous meeting, the Commissioners changed the schedule for the Mission and Core Themes reports to 18 months (instead of one year) following the Year Seven Evaluation to allow institutions more time to reflect on the process and make revisions.
These actions and communication strategy are designed to create greater transparency around Commission activities, policies, and practices. As president for this interim period, I am grateful to the Commissioners, the members of the Task Force, and the staff for their work on these issues and their commitment to regional accreditation. It is an honor and privilege to work with such dedicated academic leaders.
I will be contacting you within the next month to alert you to training opportunities and proposed modifications to the Substantive Change Process and will be posting additional information on the website as we move forward.