November 14, 2019

November 14, 2019

First, we wish to extend our appreciation to all of you who participated in the site visit on November 4 and 5. To all students, faculty, and staff who came to open forums, drop-in sessions, and the focus area sessions: you truly represented the university with a great deal of poise. Your intelligent comments reflected well on the university, and you greatly helped the site visit team understand the University of Michigan-Flint. Thank you all for having given your valuable time to collaborate and contribute to this effort!

Of course, we have now completed our site visit, and this update is posted to inform you of the remainder of the process of the Comprehensive Evaluation for Reaffirmation of our accreditation.

As you may know, the Assurance Argument and Federal Compliance Report were submitted in early October. Shortly after that, the HLC peer evaluation team read our argument and worked on their report. Questions naturally arose during this time period, and these questions helped the HLC team determine their final agenda for November 4 and 5.

From that point forward, the process works as follows:

  1. Within two weeks of the site visit, the HLC team chair sends a draft copy of their report to the Chancellor and the university’s Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO).
  2. The university is given one week to correct factual errors in the report, which are sent by the ALO to the HLC team chair.
  3. The HLC team makes the factual corrections and sends a final draft to the university and to the Higher Learning Commission’s Institutional Action Council (IAC).
  4. The university is allowed to compose a response to the final report if we have disagreements with or other responses to the team’s conclusions; we will send our response to the IAC.
  5. The IAC meets and examines the team’s report and the university’s response. Subsequently, the IAC issues a final judgment on our reaffirmation, including whether any subsequent reporting is required on the part of the university. Official notification of our reaffirmation status is sent to us at that point.

We are currently at the second process in the above list: we have received the team’s draft and are working to correct factual errors. More information will be posted as the process allows.

October 31, 2019

As you may know, every 10 years UM-Flint undergoes a comprehensive re-accreditation evaluation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), covering all aspects of the institution. The evaluation process is an opportunity to identify areas where UM-Flint is very successful along with areas that might need improvement.

The HLC is sending a team of five peer reviewers to campus to conduct its evaluation of UM-Flint on Monday, November 4th and Tuesday, November 5th. This is an opportunity for you to be involved personally in the HLC evaluation of UM-Flint.

Please join the conversation on Monday, November 4th by attending any of the following Open Forums (all forums will take place in the Happenings Room in the University Center; refreshments will be provided). Note that you can participate remotely in each Open Forum session via Bluejeans by clicking the individual link below. 

Additional information about the HLC visit and the evaluation criteria can be found here: https://www.umflint.edu/hlc.

Please make every conceivable effort to attend one (or more!) of these important meetings. After all, this only happens once every ten years...  

As we know you are all aware, it is vital that we make a good showing, be present and prepared, and answer questions both honestly and with an eye to the future.  Sending a message of confidence in our institution and its goals is essential to our accreditation process.

With best wishes, and look forward to seeing you there!

The UM-Flint Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee
Sue Alcock, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Stephen Turner, Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Programs; Accreditation Liaison Officer, HLC 

October 17, 2019

Accreditation Visit Getting Closer

We are pleased to report the UM-Flint Assurance Argument was submitted and locked on
October 7.

The next step is hosting the campus visit November 4-5, when an HLC peer review team
will be here for a series of interviews and meetings. The team will interview the chancellor and
cabinet, the Board of Regents, deans, directors, and various other students, faculty, and staff.
The schedule, which will be posted when it is finalized, lists open forum sessions that relate to
the HLC criteria for accreditation, drop-in sessions for students, faculty, or staff, and a series of
closed sessions for specific audiences on specific topics, which will be determined soon. After
meeting with the university community, the HLC team will write an evaluation report, which will
determine our accreditation status moving forward.

We encourage you to participate in one or more of the open forums and drop-in sessions. In
preparation, you should review UM-Flint’s Assurance Argument. (Unfortunately, the
hyperlinks only work in the HLC Assurance System, but note the list of evidence documents at
the end of each section.) Other suggestions:

  • Know UM-Flint’s mission statement.
  • Review the five core criteria for accreditation.
  • Familiarize yourself with UM-Flint’s five high-level strategic priorities: https://www.umflint.edu/strategicplanning.

We appreciate your early preparation for our HLC site visit November 4 and 5, 2019.

The Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee

May 1, 2019

Accreditation Is Coming

The re-accreditation process represents an opportunity for us to identify areas where our campus needs improvement and to implement change. Preparation for our re-accreditation will continue for the next six months, and it involves three main components:

  • The completion, in October 2018, of our Quality Initiative, in which we worked to improve university advising, supplemental instruction, and the First Year Experience course.
  • Preparation of the Assurance Argument, a self-evaluation that examines every aspect of the institution including educational activities, governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student personnel services, resources, student academic achievement, organizational effectiveness, and relationships with outside constituencies. This will be finished by October 7, 2019.
  • The completion of our comprehensive site visit, in which a team of peer reviewers affiliated with the Higher Learning Commission will come to our university on November 4-5, 2019. In addition to the site visit team holding open forums to interview various constituencies, they will write an evaluation report that will be used to determine our accreditation status moving forward.

Accreditation is a way to insure that UM-Flint is fulfilling its goals and serving our students and communities to the best of our ability. Accreditation is voluntary, and it serves as assurance to students that they will get a quality education when they attend the University of Michigan-Flint. It also increases the potential of transferability of credits from one accredited institution to another.

Preparation for the HLC re-accreditation visit and its eventual success are vital to the future of our campus. It is extremely important that the process be highly participatory and completely transparent. We want all of our faculty, staff, and students to be actively involved in the process, understand the importance of re-accreditation, and the development of our Assurance Statement.

We appreciate your early assistance and participation in the planning and prepping for our HLC site visit November 4 and 5, 2019.

Thank you in advance.

The Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee

January 10, 2019

From: Deibis, Mary
Sent: Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:00 AM
To: 'umf_fac_staff@list.umflint.edu'
Subject: [Umf_fac_staff] Current HLC Reaccreditation Activity
 
This message is being forwarded to you on behalf of Dr. Stephen W. Turner, Interim Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Programs and Chair of HLC Reaccreditation Steering Committee.  Thank you, Mary Deibis.
 
---------------------------------
 
Dear Colleagues:

I'm writing to you to provide an update on HLC activities at the UM-Flint, and to introduce two individuals— Deb White and Kori Coleman — in their new roles on the UM-Flint campus.  Deb, former director of OEL, is now serving as HLC Writer/Editor, and Kori is assisting our HLC re-accreditation efforts.

Let me review our current HLC efforts.
 
First, you may be aware that UM-Flint now follows the Higher Learning Commission Open Pathways accreditation process, which differs significantly from our prior process. One major new component has been the Quality Initiative, which Interim Provost Alcock touched on briefly in one of her recent communications. The Quality Initiative is an effort intended to improve some particular aspect of our university's operations. Ours focused on increasing student persistence through three initiatives:  the re-design of the CAS advising system, the bolstering of our Supplemental Instruction offered through the Student Success Center, and the re-envisioning of our FYE courses, which is currently a work in progress. The Quality Initiative was officially concluded in October 2018.

Second, and the other major difference overall, is our means of HLC documentation. In the old system, we wrote a large self-study document once every ten years. In the Open Pathways system, we write two smaller studies called assurance arguments, one in year four and a second, more comprehensive one, in year ten. Because we adopted this new process during the fourth year (2013-14), we were not required to write the year-four assurance argument during our current cycle.

Since 2016, the HLC Steering Committee has been working to prepare for the 10th year comprehensive assurance argument, which will be submitted to the HLC in early October, followed by a site visit on November 4-5, 2019.

A key aspect of the assurance argument is that it is limited in length to 35,000 words, with the intent of focusing strongly on accurate, succinct reporting of our current state of affairs, both positive and negative. Additionally, instead of presenting our HLC peer reviewers with a roomful of paper documentation, the assurance argument incorporates direct hyperlinks to electronic documents providing the supporting evidence.

In association with this effort, as noted above, we have hired two employees to perform significant components of this important work. Deb White, the former director of the Office of Extended Learning, is now serving as the HLC Writer/Editor and will continue her work on the assurance argument until its final submission in October. Kori Coleman has been hired as an administrative assistant to facilitate our efforts. Part of their collective responsibility involves the collection of evidence; you may recently have been contacted by either Deb or Kori, as they have been reaching out to various departments seeking documentation to support the assurance argument.

In order to ensure accuracy, it is important for the HLC Steering Committee to receive feedback from the university community on the assurance argument. We are now nearing completion of an initial draft, and you will soon receive an email that will include a link to the draft document, as well as a link to a Form Assembly site to provide feedback.

 
Thank you,
Stephen W. Turner, PhD
Interim Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Programs
Chair of HLC Reaccreditation Steering Committee

April 2017

The University of Michigan-Flint is in the early planning stages for our Higher Learning Commission (HLC) continued accreditation process.  Our last HLC comprehensive reaccreditation occurred in 2009 and our next one is scheduled to occur in 2019.  Preparation for the continued accreditation involves a self-evaluation that encompasses every aspect of the institution including educational activities, governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student personnel services, resources, student academic achievement, organizational effectiveness, and relationships with outside constituencies.  It is also an opportunity for us to identify areas where our campus needs improvement and to implement change.

Accreditation is a way to insure that higher learning institutions are fulfilling their goals and serving their students and communities to the best of their ability.  Accreditation is voluntary, and it serves as assurance to students that they will get a quality education when they attend an accredited college or university. It also increases the potential of transferability of credits from one accredited institution to another.

UM-Flint is prepping for a fall 2019 visit from the HLC, of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools which is the accrediting agency for UM-Flint, UM-Ann Arbor, and many other schools and colleges in this region of the country.  Their role is to ensure students are receiving a quality education and the institution is operating within the boundaries of its stated mission.

Preparation for the HLC reaccreditation visit and its eventual success are vital to the future of our campus.  It is extremely important that the process be highly participatory and completely transparent.  We want all of our faculty, staff, and students to be actively involved in the process, understand the importance of reaccreditation, and the development of our Assurance Statement (formerly known as “self-study.”)

We appreciate your early assistance and participation in the planning and prepping for our HLC site visit November 4 and 5, 2019.

Thank you in advance.

Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee