We would like to thank everyone who assisted with preparations for and participated in the recent onsite evaluation of our institution by a committee from the Northwest Communication on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). NWCCU represents the Department of Education to verify that Washington State University continues to merit accreditation. From our perspective, the accreditation site visit could not have gone better.
We also wish to extend our appreciation and congratulations to all of you for contributing to the accomplishments that led the NWCCU evaluation team to extend six preliminary commendations to WSU. We are especially proud that the commendations specifically recognize the efforts each of you make in partnership with one another.
These included commendations for:
- Rapidly building a reputation for transparency and inclusiveness in decision-making, and the administration, faculty, staff, and students for working together to maintain open communication.
- Fostering a strong esprit de corps among its students, alumni, faculty, and staff.
- Effective initiatives to improve student access and success, particularly that of underrepresented groups, through coordinated and collaborative efforts of Enrollment Management and Student Financial Services, Student Affairs, the Office of the Provost and the Academic Success and Career Center, and other units across the University. The Student Success Council is recognized for facilitating this work.
- Assessment of student learning outcomes, especially the assessment of the learning outcomes of the UCORE general education requirements. The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning is recognized for its leadership in this work.
- Planning to revitalize classrooms to serve today’s learners. A notable result is The Spark, a state-of-the-art facility, which enables faculty to use innovative technology to help motivate students to engage deeply in learning.
- Focusing research on the Grand Challenges of sustaining health, sustainable resources, opportunity and equity, smart systems, and national security, using interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to serve society.
The Commission also provided several useful recommendations based on their standards, which will add focus to our efforts going forward:
- Relevant to Standard 3.A.3: The evaluation committee recommends that Washington State University’s comprehensive planning process is informed by the collection of appropriately defined data, which can be disaggregated to identify differences among campuses, learning modalities, and other subdivisions of this large and complex institution.
- Relevant to Standard 3.A.5: The evaluation committee recommends that Washington State University’ s planning includes fully comprehensive emergency preparedness and contingency planning for continuity and recovery of operations at all campuses.
- Relevant to Standards 3.B.3. and 4.B.1: The evaluation committee recommends that results of core theme assessments and results of assessments of programs and services are more consistently used for improvement, by informing planning , decision making, and allocation of resources and capacity.
You can find additional information about the accreditation process on our website. Please note that the committee’s commendations and recommendations are not considered final until the full report is considered by the Commission at its upcoming meeting in late June.
None of the accomplishments cited by the Commission would be possible without your dedication, expertise, and collaboration. These Cougar character traits make us Washington state’s university.
Daniel J. Bernardo Erica Weintraub Austin
Provost and Executive Vice President Vice Provost for Academic Affairs