UT officials encouraged by Higher Learning Commission site visit; written report expected in several weeks

March 6, 2012 | News, UToday



The University of Toledo wrapped up its site visit from evaluators representing the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools last Wednesday, and UT leaders are encouraged by the result.

“Our guests complimented the success of our merger and the resultant strength of this University, saying we are well-positioned for the challenges of the 21st century,” wrote UT President Lloyd Jacobs in a letter distributed to the UT community.

“Those words are a tribute to the efforts of every staff and faculty member, every student, every alum and everyone in the community who works so hard to ensure a strong future for The University of Toledo.”

Jacobs said it will be six to eight weeks until UT receives a written report and months until the process is finalized for this reaccreditation cycle.

Prior to the visit, the HLC consultant evaluators read the self-study UT spent several years preparing and then last week met with scores of faculty, staff and students, both in planned sessions requested by the commission and in open forums.

The HLC team reviewed UT’s success at meeting five key criteria:

• Criterion I: Mission and Integrity;

• Criterion II: Planning for the Future;

• Criterion III: Student Learning and Effective Teaching;

• Criterion IV: Acquisition, Discovery and Application of Knowledge; and

• Criterion V: Engagement and Service.

“Our current accreditation cycle is winding down,” Jacobs wrote, “but our efforts to continuously improve the ways we educate students, conduct research and engage the communities around us are forever ongoing. Processes like these bring institutions together, and I am very proud of what we were able to show the Higher Learning Commission that we’ve collectively accomplished.”

Jacobs also used the letter to thank the hundreds of people both inside and outside the University who spent time preparing for the visit and offered special thanks to HLC Liaison Dr. Penny Poplin Gosetti, vice provost for assessment and strategic planning, and faculty and staff who helped lead the HLC effort: Dr. Thea Sawicki, Dr. Tom Sharkey, Dr. Charles Blatz, Bryan Pyles, Dr. Constance Shriner, Dr. Charlene Czerniak, Dr. Mojisola Tiamiyu, Dr. Bill Davis, Dr. Jamie Barlowe, Jolene Miller, Dr. Brian Randolph, Marcia King-Blandford, Heather Huntley, Jim Winkler and Barbara Monger.

Celebrating the conclusion of a positive Higher Learning Commission site visit were UT faculty and staff who led the multi-year preparation effort, from left, Jolene Miller, Dr. Bill Davis, Dr. Charles Blatz, Dr. Jamie Barlowe, Jim Winkler, Dr. Penny Poplin Gosetti, Dr. Tom Sharkey, Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, Dr. Brian Randolph, Dr. Constance Shriner, Dr. Thea Sawicki, Dr. Charlene Czerniak, Heather Huntley and Bryan Pyles. Dr. Mojisola Tiamiyu, Marcia King-Blandford and Barbara Monger were not able to be in the photo.