For the past year and a half, Harvard has been preparing for its 10-year re-accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Margo Seltzer, Herchel Smith Professor of Computer Science, chaired the committee that prepared a self-study report addressing NEASC’s 11 standards (chapters) for accreditation, now available at www.provost.harvard.edu/institutional_research/accreditation.php.
The report focuses on various dimensions of the University, ranging from academics and the libraries to governance and finance. The format of the report is prescribed by the accreditors. Because most of Harvard’s graduate and professional Schools are separately accredited, standards concerning the Academic Program (4), Faculty (5), and Students (6) focus on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the College. These sections were reviewed by a variety of Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) committees with student, faculty, and staff representation, including the Educational Policy Committee (EPC), Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE), Undergraduate Council (UC), Committee on House Life (CHL), Committee on College Life (CCL), and Faculty Council. The FAS Faculty, Administrative Council, and Council of Deans also reviewed the complete report.
The next step of the process is a comprehensive evaluation visit that will take place Oct. 18-21 by a team organized under the auspices of NEASC. Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia will chair the evaluation team, which includes faculty and administrators from peer institutions. The team will visit campus to explore issues raised by the self-study and gain a direct understanding of Harvard’s organization, governance, and educational programs. The team will make a recommendation regarding Harvard’s accreditation status to the commission, and following a review process, the commission itself will make a determination regarding accreditation.
In advance of the visit, the public is invited to submit comments that address substantive matters related to the quality of Harvard University to:
Public Comment on Harvard University
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
209 Burlington Road
Bedford, MA 01730-1433
Written, signed comments must be received by Oct. 21 and will not be confidential. Comments should include the name, address, and telephone number of the person providing the comments.
There will also be opportunities for members of the Harvard community to meet with the evaluation team while the team is at Harvard in October. Details are forthcoming.