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Higher Learning Commission reaffirms UW–Madison’s accreditation

June 18, 2019 By Doug Erickson

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has been granted institutional accreditation for another 10 years by the Higher Learning Commission, the accreditor for post-secondary education institutions in the central United States.

“Accreditation is incredibly important in assuring our students, their families and Wisconsin taxpayers that we are providing the best possible environment for academic success,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “I congratulate everyone on campus for what this successful outcome says about the quality of their work, and I extend deep gratitude to everyone who worked so hard on this rigorous process, beginning with Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Jocelyn Milner, who led our effort.”

The decision by the Higher Learning Commission follows a multi-year, campus-wide effort to examine the university’s alignment with the criteria for accreditation and federal compliance requirements. The work led to a 100-page, evidence-based report called the assurance argument.

A review team assembled by the Higher Learning Commission evaluated the assurance argument and conducted a site visit March 25-26. The team concluded that UW–Madison meets all accreditation requirements.

“It was a great pleasure to oversee preparations and documentation of evidence that UW–Madison meets the criteria for accreditation,” Milner says. “There was a wealth of evidence to choose from to convey to the reviewers the way that the Wisconsin Experience and the Wisconsin Idea are alive in the student experience. Nearly 300 people contributed to the project directly, and the evidence is compiled from the work of thousands of people across the university.”

The criteria for accreditation fall into five broad categories: mission; ethical conduct; educational quality; educational evaluation; and planning and resources. In its report, the review team praised UW–Madison for its dedication to the state of Wisconsin and for the way its mission permeates the culture of the institution.

“UW­–Madison is an impressive and premier top-rated institution nationally that continues to maintain a state land-grant focus driven by the deep-rooted 1905 concept of the Wisconsin Idea,” the report states.

Accreditation is the primary means of assuring accountability and improving the quality of higher education institutions. It is required to receive federal and state funding and is essential for private-sector financial support. UW–Madison has been continuously accredited since 1913.

See the report, the university’s assurance argument and other information here.