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UW-Madison’s reaccreditation review underway

April 6, 2017 By Doug Erickson
Photo: Closeup of Sifting and Winnowing plaque

Closeup view of the “Sifting and Winnowing” plaque on Bascom Hall. The text reads: “Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.” Photo: Jeff Miller

Work is ramping up on UW–Madison’s reaccreditation effort, a comprehensive review that occurs on a 10-year cycle.

The process will culminate in March 2019 with a site visit from a review team of the Higher Learning Commission.

“Accreditation is a process, as much as an event, that affirms that we’re meeting public expectations for delivering a high-quality learning experience,” says Jocelyn Milner, vice provost for academic affairs and leader of the accreditation project.

Photo: Jocelyn Milner

Jocelyn Milner

Over the next two years, the university will document how it meets or exceeds the commission’s criteria for accreditation. The criteria fall into five broad categories: mission; ethical conduct; educational quality; educational evaluation; and planning and resources.

UW-Madison’s core team for the accreditation project will lead the preparation of a document referred to as the assurance argument. A team of peer reviewers selected by the commission will review the assurance argument and supporting evidence that demonstrate how the university meets the criteria.

As part of the process, the commission will survey students in the fall of 2018. There will be a formal period for public comment from late fall 2018 through early 2019.

The commission is one of six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit colleges and universities. It is an independent corporation that serves institutions of higher education in 19 states throughout the Midwest and adjacent regions.

The site visit by the review team is scheduled for March 25-26, 2019.

UW-Madison has been continuously accredited since 1913, most recently in 2009. For more information and updates, see the accreditation project website.