NEXT WEEK: Middle States Team Visit

Next week (March 26 to March 29) brings the Middle States Team to Widener as we approach the final stages of the re-accreditation process.  Thanks to all who have responded promptly and collegially to requests for meetings, documents, and additional information.

On Monday, March 27, from 2 to 3 pm in the Webb Room, an open hour will be held for any member of the university community to meet with Team Chair Dr. Anne Skleder.

Members of the faculty are reminded that two open meetings for faculty will be held with the team:  Monday, March 27 and Tuesday, March 28, both at 4pm in the Webb Room.

The Evaluation Team Exit Report will be held Wednesday, March 29, from 10 to 11am in Alumni Auditorium—this meeting is open to all members of the university community.

The final version of the self-study report is available on Campus Cruiser:  Under “Committees” in Campus Cruiser, members of the Widener community will find a link called “Widener Middle States Self Study.”  The PDF may be accessed there, with links to supporting documentation.  Please consider reviewing the report prior to the Team Visit.

Middle States Updates: Self-Study Complete, Visit Planning Underway

We are a little more than one month away from our Middle States Team Visit.  Here is what you need to know:

  • The Team Visit is scheduled for March 26 through March 29.  The team is being led by Dr. Anne Skleder, Provost and Senior Vice President of Wilkes University.
  • Meetings with a variety of campus constituents and Dr. Skleder and the nine team members are being scheduled over the course of those several days, including meetings with undergraduate and graduate students, members of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Team, Faculty Council Executive Committee, and the Student Learning Assessment Advisory Group.
  • Faculty are invited to attend an open forum on Monday, March 27 OR Tuesday, March 28.  Two meetings are being held in order to provide options for faculty schedules.  Both meetings will be held at 4pm in the Webb Room.
  • The final self-study report is now available to the entire campus community.  Under “Committees” in Campus Cruiser, members of the Widener community will find a link called “Widener Middle States Self Study.”  The PDF may be accessed there, with links to supporting documentation.  Please consider reviewing the report prior to the Team Visit.

As always, please feel free to get in touch with any of the tri-chairs with questions.

Visit from Middle States Team Chair

Last week, on November 10, our Middle States Team Chair came to campus in preparation for the March evaluation visit.  The Team Chair, Dr. Anne Skleder, met with key groups to advance our re-accreditation process to the next stage.  These included Faculty Council Executive Committee, the Student Learning Assessment Advisory Group, members of the Executive Team, members of the Board of Trustees, and student leaders, as well as the Middle States Steering Committee.  Dr. Skleder explained the accreditation process and gave a sense of how the March visit will go and what we can expect.  All in all, those who met with her found her to be a good listener, clear communicator, and experienced evaluator.

Dr. Skleder, who is Senior Vice President and Provost at Wilkes University, will lead a team of eight evaluators; the team arrives on March 26 and will be working with us until March 29.  Meanwhile, we await specific feedback from Dr. Skleder on our self-study.  Another round of revisions will take place based on her comments, before the final report goes to the team six weeks before the visit.

Middle States Thanks and Next Steps

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Middle States self-study feedback process.  We received useful comments and suggestions from faculty, staff, and administrators, both on the Main Campus and from the Schools of Law.  The attention to detail and the positive responses overall are much appreciated.

Next steps:  A final, revised version of the self-study report will be prepared by the tri-chairs, and then sent to our Team Chair no later than October 17.  Then, we will await feedback from the Team Chair while planning for the Team Chair visit, to occur on November 10.

Feedback Welcome on the Middle States Self-Study

The comment period on the Middle States self-study is underway.  An open meeting was held yesterday in Lathem Hall, and the campus community was invited to join members of the Steering Committee to share feedback.  Turnout was fairly good, comments and questions were collected, and the tri-chairs were able to provide some insight into the process.

Feedback, questions, and comments are welcome; the deadline is September 20.  Feel free to send your thoughts to the tri-chairs!

Welcome Back from Widener Middle States!

We hope our colleagues (and steadfast blog readers) have had a productive and restful summer.  The Middle States team has been working all summer on multiple drafts of the self-study report, and we are just about ready to share the document with the campus community.

The Steering Committee met today to provide feedback to the tri-chairs, who will now commence preparing a new version for wide dissemination.  Once all Steering Committee feedback is collected by the tri-chairs (deadline: Monday, August 29th), a newly edited document will then be available to the campus community on September 1.

All members of the campus community are invited to a Town Hall to discuss the draft, to be held on September 8 from 3–4 (location TBD).  Feedback is welcome and encouraged.  Those who cannot make the Town Hall are invited to send any comments and feedback to Janine Utell by September 20.   At the General Faculty meeting tomorrow, August 25, Provost Wilhite will share additional news and updates.

As always, please get in touch with any questions!  Happy new semester!

Preparing the Self-Study: Summer Timeline

We’ll be taking a bit of a summer hiatus here on the blog, as we get down to drafting the Middle States self-study report.  The writing is well underway, thanks to the labor of the working groups.

In the meantime, here is the timeline for drafting, revising, and sharing with the campus community [NOTE: This timeline has been updated as of 24 August 2016]:

  • June 1: First draft to Provost Wilhite
  • June 10: Revisions due back to Tri-Chairs
  • July 1: Second draft to President Wollman
  • July 15: Revisions due back to Tri-Chairs
  • August 1: Third draft to Steering Committee and Executive Committee
  • August 24: Steering committee meeting and feedback received
  • September 1: Fourth draft to Widener community
  • September 8: Town Hall (location TBD)
  • September 20: Final feedback due to the Tri-Chairs from all constituents
  • September 30: Final revision sent to Provost Wilhite
  • Early-mid-October: Report sent to MSCHE Team Chair
  • November 10:  MSCHE Team Chair Visit
  • March 27–29:  MSCHE Evaluating Team Visit

Just because we’ll be offline doesn’t mean we’re not available.  As always, feel free to get in touch with questions or concerns, and have a great summer!