Agency to assess NIU accreditation

By Amy Callaghan

NIU’s reaccreditation review, a massive institutional evaluation conducted every 10 years, is underway.

James Mellard, coordinator of the review, said the committee already has had their first meeting and the steering committee has been selected.

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) will evaluate NIU in February 1994.

NCA is a not-for-profit voluntary organization that evaluates schools, colleges and universities in the Midwest for accreditation.

Mellard said NIU President John La Tourette and J. Carroll Moody, acting NIU provost and Academic Affairs vice president, discussed the importance of the review during the meeting.

“The NCA review is important to the university because it is the only accreditation process the entire university goes through,” Mellard said.

The review is a self-assessment judged by an objective outside agency, and Mellard said if the university lost accreditation it would be “devastating.”

“Being accredited means the university is approved by an objective agency that oversees education in the country,” Mellard said.

The steering committee, appointed by La Tourette, consists of 12 faculty members.

Each committee member will chair a subcommittee, each of which will be involved directly in the reaccreditation process because their reports will make up the evaluation given to the NCA, Mellard said.

The first task of the steering committee is to get the subcommittees together.

Some of the focal points of the review are institutional history and government, undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, academic support, external programming and public service, human resources and services, students and student life and physical facilities and financial services.