Site-Visit Team Will Meet With Faculty And Students

By Sean Smith
Staff Writer

A team of educators from the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges will visit the campus March 9-12 and meet with administrators, faculty and students, as the University's decadal reaccreditation process enters its next phase.

Among the events the team plans to hold are open meetings on March 11, with undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and faculty. The forums for undergraduates, and graduate and professional students will be held at 3 p.m. in Fulton 415 and Fulton 135, respectively. The faculty session will follow at 4:15 p.m. in Fulton 135.

The team will formally end its visit on March 12 with an oral report at a session with University President William P. Leahy, SJ.

The purpose of the nine-member team's visit is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation, and appraise the thoroughness and accuracy of a self-study Boston College undertook as part of the reaccreditation process. Two committees of administrators and faculty carried out the study, which assesses Boston College's compliance with the CIHE Standards for Accreditation and addresses broad institutional issues.

"We're very pleased with the caliber of the visiting team," said Associate Academic Vice President Robert Newton, who chaired the steering committee for the self-study. "We are looking forward to getting advice and perspective regarding our plans and how the University can address the goals it has set for itself."

The CIHE will review the team's findings and the University self-study later this year before announcing its decision. Boston College has been accredited by the commission since 1935 and was last reviewed in 1985.

Newton said the sessions with faculty and students will help the reaccreditation team form its impression of the University. "There is no particular agenda to these forums," he said. "Usually, members have questions of their own they wish to ask: What are the issues on campus? What kind of environment does the institution try to create? The standards touch on many things, so often the discussion can be wide-ranging."

After attending a dinner and working session hosted by Fr. Leahy on March 9, Newton said, the team will begin two days of intensive tours, interviews and discussions with the University community. In addition to the March 11 open forums, members will meet individually or in small groups with University representatives involved in major initiatives, or academic and administrative functions.

These meetings will cover areas such as library resources, financial resources, undergraduate education, information technology, campus construction, the proposed Middle Campus Project, the University Academic Planning Council initiative and Project Delta.

"The University has provided information on these areas through the self-study," Newton said, "and so the team will look to validate the self-study and see how adequate our plans are for each portion. Typically, the reaccreditation team members will focus on their particular areas of expertise: A member with experience in library administration deals with library resources issues, for example, while another who works in student affairs would concentrate on that aspect."

Other highlights of the visit will include a presentation by the University committee studying Boston College's compliance with the CIHE standards, and luncheon meetings with the Board of Trustees and academic deans. The team is led by Paul Reiss, former president and current professor at St. Michael's College in Vermont.

Other members are: University of Notre Dame Provost Nathan Hatch; Yale University Deputy Provost Charles Long; Wellesley College Vice President of Administration William Reed; Clemson University Dean of Libraries Joseph Boykin; Marquette University Vice President for Student Affairs Sherri Coe-Perkins; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Planning Director Ovadia Simha; Frank Rothman, a professor of biology at Brown University; and Mary Powers, a professor of sociology at Fordham University.

Return to Feb. 27 menu

Return to Chronicle home page