Forums planned to allow faculty input on UT accreditation self-study

September 23, 2010 | UToday
By Jim Winkler

Three forums have been scheduled to allow faculty members to share their views and provide feedback for the self-study report The University of Toledo is preparing for its 2012 accreditation visit from the Higher Learning Commission.

The sessions will be held Friday, Oct. 22; Friday, Oct. 29; and Friday, Nov. 5, and will focus on ways to further integrate the cultures of the University’s different campuses; to improve teaching and learning synergies; and to advance the University’s economic viability and role in helping jumpstart northwest Ohio’s economy. Those topics are subjects of a special-emphasis report UT is conducting as part of the self-study. The locations and times for the forums will be announced soon.

“The focus of the special-emphasis study is to see what went well in the merger and to identify new opportunities it brought to the University,” noted Dr. Thomas Sharkey, associate professor of marketing and co-chair of the self-study.

The input also will be used to address five Higher Learning Commission criteria in the self-study — the University’s mission and integrity, planning for the future, student learning and effective teaching, application of knowledge and lifelong learning, and engagement and service.

The University began preparations last year, and now six teams comprised of some 60 faculty members are meeting regularly, gathering data and evidence of activities and efforts in the areas, and writing first drafts of the criterion chapters.

Dr. Dorothea Sawicki, professor of microbiology and immunology and co-chair of the self-study, stresses that faculty input is critical and the forums are important opportunities for this.

“We want the entire self-study process to be transparent and open, and for the faculty to play an active part in the self-study and to be fully engaged in discussions at the forums,” she said, adding that as the criterion teams continue to gather data, many University offices again will be asked to respond to requests for information and should do so as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

She added that the self-study process is an opportunity for UT to identify its strengths and areas for improvement through gathering data, analyzing and drawing conclusions.

A copy of the first draft report will be made available online for comment by faculty, staff and students next April and again in the fall after revisions are made in response to University and community feedback.

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