More than two years after work began on preparing for the University’s decennial reaccreditation, officials have announced that the University has received the final stamp of approval from its accrediting agency.

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools released notice of the University’s reaccreditation earlier this month in a letter to University President Mary Sue Coleman. The notice comes after a site team visited the campus this spring to study and evaluate the University in five core areas — fulfillment of the its mission, its preparedness for the future, the overall classroom experience, engagement of students outside of the classroom and application of knowledge.

The site committee then composed a report that was sent to its governing board, which officially accepted the recommendation to reaccredit the University earlier this summer.

Having been an accredited institution of higher education since 1913, the University’s reaccreditation was not believed to pose any problems by either the HLC or University administrators.

Earlier this year, former University Provost Teresa Sullivan, who will assume the presidency at the University of Virginia in August, told The Michigan Daily she wasn’t concerned about the University not being reaccredited.

“I’m really not worried about us being reaccredited, but it is important to me for us to use this opportunity and not just treat it as one more thing we’ve got to do, but really take advantage of it,” Sullivan said in January, explaining that the University would also conduct a specialized self-study.

A reaccreditation self-study is commonly requested of large schools like the University that are expected to be reaccredited without incident. The study focuses on a self-selected area and is meant to explore how the University could advance within a given area.

Ten years ago, the University focused its self-study on interdisciplinary studies. Following the self-study, University officials have focused on creating greater collaborations between academic units in many ways, including the implementation of the president’s Interdisciplinary Junior Faculty Initiative — which has committed the University to hiring 100 interdisciplinary junior faculty members over the past three years.

This year, University officials chose to focus on internationalization. University officials have said they believe the study could alter the way the University thinks about study abroad offerings and could lead to a more centralized model to support international activities.

In a statement released last week, Sullivan lauded the work of those involved in the reaccreditation process, adding that she was pleased with the outcome of the self-study.

“The University is grateful to the individuals and groups on campus and across the state who participated in the accreditation discussions,” Sullivan said in the statement. “The knowledge the University gained will strengthen and enhance the educational experience of all our students as it informs and shapes plans for programs and activities such as global education, multidisciplinary learning and the evaluation of educational outcomes.”

In a press release issued last week, Coleman also expressed her gratitude to all involved in the process of reaccreditation and touted the University’s high marks in the review process.

“Many people — deans, faculty and staff — worked diligently to examine where we are today as a university and to look toward the future of our institution,” Coleman said in the release. “The University not only met the standards for accreditation by the association, but it excelled in nearly all areas, receiving high praise from the review team.”

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