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Forums planned for accreditation candidates

January 6, 2014
Ritu Subramony and Carrie Zack

Ritu Subramony
and Carrie Zack

The Office of the Provost will hold open forums Friday, Jan. 10, and Thursday, Jan. 16, to hear from the two candidates for director of Academic Accreditation at NIU.

Finalists are:

  • Ritu Subramony, who is assisting the Office of the Provost in developing NIU’s self-study report for institutional accreditation and managing the Course Activity Documentation module for institutional compliance with federal requirements; and
  • Carrie Zack, associate director for the University Office of Educator Licensure and Preparation.

The director conducts the timely and accurate preparation and analysis of academic and institutional accreditation data, reports, and other materials for review by the vice provost for Academic Planning and Development and, where needed, the president of NIU prior to submission of these items to external academic accrediting bodies.

The individual in this position will work with key constituents in leadership positions across campus and serve as the university liaison to external academic accrediting agencies.

Duties and responsibilities include collection of data from key constituents across the NIU campus with subsequent, analysis and reporting of these data for the purpose of fulfilling newly implemented and expanding requirements of the Higher Learning Commission, maintaining up-to-date information on NIU’s compliance with federal requirements monitored by the Higher Learning Commission and preparing internal reports to support institutional continuous quality improvement.

Subramony, whose open forum is scheduled from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 10, in Altgeld 203, holds a Ph.D. in school psychology from Central Michigan University (2006) and an M.S. in higher education and policy from Northwestern University (2013).

Her experience spans across assessment, evaluation, curriculum design and educational consultation.

As a research associate at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Subramony collaborated with internal stakeholders to develop a school-wide program evaluation process for various graduate programs in business and participated in developing the self-study report for submission to the accrediting body (AACSB).

In addition to extensive experience as a school psychologist, she has taught undergraduate courses in psychology and graduate courses in educational research. Subramony’s experience in the K-12 system and higher education environments has provided her with a strong foundation in understanding the needs of different stakeholders, building constructive professional relationships and keeping abreast of policies in the area of higher education accreditation.

Higher Learning CommissionZack, whose open forum is scheduled from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, in Altgeld 203, first became involved with accreditation while working as a research assistant at the College of Lake County (CLC) in 2003.

At that time, CLC began implementing its plan to pursue the Academic Quality Improvement Program, which is a continuous improvement model of accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. She served as an ex-officio member of one of the planning committees.

In 2005, she was hired as the assessment coordinator for the University Office of Teacher Certification (now the University Office of Educator Licensure and Preparation) at NIU and was charged with coordinating efforts to ensure that the educator preparation unit, which spans four colleges, would be ready to meet the standards of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (which has since transitioned to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) during its next accreditation visit. The visit ultimately took place in October of 2010 and resulted in successful continuation of full accreditation status for the university.

Since that time, Zack has assisted the educator preparation programs in continuing to navigate frequently changing requirements at the state and national levels and was promoted to associate director in August of 2013. This promotion entailed additional duties including supervision of a professional staff position, additional reporting and planning responsibilities, and performance of the duties of the associate vice provost/licensure officer in absentia.

For more information on the forums, call (815) 753-8378 or email [email protected].