Summer: A Time for Syracuse Recommendations

We are past the halfway mark of summer break and summer terms, but if you are like me, you still have a lot you want to do before the fall semester begins.

Every year, my family tries to explore Central New York a little more during the kids’ summer break. And since I am relatively new to the area, I ask people for recommendations. Then I investigate those recommendations before I accept them. And if I feel good about others’ reviews, then I will visit those places and hold my friends accountable if those places met my expectations or didn’t.

Well, accreditation is somewhat like that too. Syracuse University has released the draft of its self-study for the campus community to review until September and give feedback. At the end of the self-study—Chapter 5, to be exact—we list four major recommendations that we want the Middle States Commission and the site team to consider as specific action steps that will help us to improve as an institution in relationship to the Middle States standards. Additionally, by listing these draft recommendations, we are asking the Middle States Commission to hold us, Syracuse University, accountable to implement them. These draft recommendations relate to 1) University-wide assessment 2) Institutional learning outcomes (like the proposed Syracuse 4+4), 3) The student experience, and 4) Resource alignment.

Before we finalize these recommendations, we need you to check them out, give us feedback, and help us to refine them. But read the self-study draft first because these recommendations are drawn from our review of the Middle States standards and criteria outlined in the self-study.

So before we tell Middle States what we plan to do, we need to ensure we are in basic agreement of what needs to be done and why.

In just three months, the Middle States site team chair will be reading these and considering if our recommendations are good ones and to what extent do we need to be held accountable for achieving them.

Enjoy your summer and take a minute to give us feedback on these draft recommendations. Visit to review and give comments. Use your NetID to log in and access the self-study draft report, recommendations, and feedback site.

Rochelle L. Ford

Professor and Tri-chair Middle States Steering Committee