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Reaccredidation study begins at ECU

(May 7, 2001)   —   Brenda Killingsworth’s new office is way in the back of Taylor/Slaughter House. Past the reception area. Through the conference room. And the kitchen. Past the copy machine and rest room. Way back there. Then down a step.

It’s there, under fluorescent lights and from standard-issue gray desks, that Killingsworth, immediate past chair of the Faculty Senate and a faculty member in the School of Business, Worth Worthington (Medicine) and administrative assistant Harriett Hickey are guiding the decennial exercise known as the SACS Self-Study. Their work will be much more visible than their surroundings.

Once every 10 years ECU undergoes a reaccreditation examination by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The process will culminate next spring in a campus visit by a SACS team, and Killingsworth is directing the self-study that always precedes the site visit.

The commission requires that the self-study assess every aspect of the institution and provide a comprehensive analysis that identifies strengths and weaknesses. In addition, SACS requires a follow-up plan to address issues identified in the self-study.

The university for the first time is undertaking an alternate-model self-study. In connection with this, Killingsworth says, five committees are examining compliance issues–what the university must do to satisfy SACS standards.

Five other committees, she says, are looking at enhancement issues. Those are the topics associated with the university’s alternate topic: "Growth and Quality: Excelling as an Emerging Doctoral University."

Killingsworth says that the reports from all the committees will be completed by fall. Laura Lindsey of Louisiana State University, the chair of the 29-member visiting SACS team, will make a preliminary visit to ECU in November or December.

The entire team will be on campus March 24-27, 2002. After the team makes its report, the university has a few months to respond initially and 18 months to remedy any deficiencies.

Dozens of individuals representing every facet of the university are serving on the various committees. The compliance committees and their chairs are Institutional Purpose, Phyllis Horns (Nursing); Institutional Effectiveness, Scott Snyder (Arts and Sciences); Educational Program, Patricia Anderson (Education); Educational Support Services, Rita Reaves (Academic Affairs); and Administrative Processes, Gary Lowe (Academic Affairs).

The enhancement committees and their chairs are Enrollment Management, Dana Espinosa (Academic Affairs); Education and Research, George Bailey (Philosophy); Technology in Course Delivery, Ernie Marshburn (Information Technology and Computing Services); Research Management, Tom Feldbush (Research and Graduate Studies); and Services and Support, Kris Smith (Planning and Institutional Research).

In addition, a Logistics Committee chaired by Austin Bunch (University Relations) is charged with making sure the site visit runs smoothly.

"We intend to make sure that their time here is spent as pleasantly and efficiently as possible," Killingsworth says.

After all, a successful visit would mean that she can start making plans to vacate those quarters at Taylor/Slaughter.


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481