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Baker Report: Accreditation affirms NIU quality

November 22, 2013
Doug Baker

Doug Baker

Last week, I wrote about the need for change at NIU – to think beyond traditional boundaries, center our focus around student career success and strive to make NIU a model university for the 21st century.

One of the key factors necessary for students to realize career success begins with the college or university selection process: choosing a reputable college or university to obtain a baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degree. Universities such as NIU, which have successfully achieved full academic accreditation as a result of a rigorous, multi-year process, are more likely to offer degrees employers and recruiters seek and recognize. Academic accreditation is a critical mark of quality and institutional integrity.

NIU has been accredited since 1915, and the university is currently in the midst of a multi-year re-accreditation process. Earlier this fall, we invited comment on a draft self-study report, and I am thankful for the participation of the NIU community.

From Monday, March 3, through Wednesday, March 5, 2014, NIU will host a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The team will review the university’s ongoing ability to meet the commission’s rigorous Criteria for Accreditation and evaluate the university’s pursuit of its mission, governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student services, institutional resources, student learning, institutional effectiveness and relationships with internal and external constituencies.

NIU is now seeking public comment addressing substantive matters related to the quality of the institution and its academic programs in preparation for the accreditation team site visit in March. I invite you to submit comments at the HLC website, or in writing to the following address before Saturday, Feb. 1:

Public Comment on Northern Illinois University
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

Toward Bold Futures!