Dear faculty and staff members,
We received an early Christmas present from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges last week – news that it has reaffirmed the University’s accreditation through 2030.
The accreditors determined the University had met all of the commission’s quality standards with no issues to address. That means we passed – with flying colors.
The reaccreditation process occurs every 10 years and touches nearly every aspect of the University: governance, leadership, curriculum, faculty, institutional effectiveness, academic and student support services, facilities and budgets, and many other areas.
The comprehensive nature of this review required a multilayered self-evaluation crafted and carried out by stakeholders from across campus. This was an extensive team effort that began more than two years ago and involved hundreds of people – far too many to thank by name. But please know that every contribution mattered to the process’ ultimate success.
I’m grateful to everyone who went above and beyond their usual duties to help the University once again secure this all-important seal of approval from SACS. Thank you!
But our work continues. With reaccreditation in hand, the University’s focus now turns to ensuring the success of Advance: Student Research Experience, the Quality Enhancement Plan at the center of our 2020 review.
As you might remember, Advance is an undergraduate research program that provides students opportunities to complete creative and scholarly projects that hone skills that will benefit them throughout their lifetimes: problem solving, oral and written communication, teamwork, and project and time management.
We were able to initiate an undergraduate research program because of the strength of our existing research infrastructure, the faculty and staff researchers whose ideas empower it, and the dedicated members of the University community whose support is essential to its success.
As a public university, the work we do here must be for the public good. And what could be better for the future than graduates who are thoughtful, inquisitive, analytical and expressive? What’s better than ensuring that the doers of tomorrow are the thinkers of today?
That’s the wider result of reaccreditation. This process of self-reflection required us as an institution to consider what we owe tomorrow. And we believe we owe it nothing less than emboldening our students to do great things.
With your continued help and support, they will.
Thank you, happy holidays and Geaux Cajuns!
Dr. Joseph Savoie