Senate, start your engines: Middle States Self-Study Feedback Needed

This week began with a bang signaling the start of the official Middle States self-study review by the University Senate.

Monday, the tri-chairs of the Middle States Steering Committee met with committee co-chairs of the University Senate to share ideas for University improvement generated from the self-study process. These ideas had been labeled the Parking Lot issues, meaning that some of them were not directly related to Middle States standards but were developed from discussions and were worthy of further attention by various Senate committees or University administrative units. Ideally, Senate committees will review the Parking Lot idea list and determine if the idea is something their committees should help address and/or develop.

The goal is that no idea would go into an internal abyss never to be heard of again. Instead, each idea would be entertained through an appropriate Senate committee and/or administrative unit and then a report be given back to the Middle States Steering Committee before the site team visit in 2018.

Additionally, on Monday, all senators received a copy of the first three chapters of the Middle States self-study draft report for their review and feedback. Chapter Four of the draft was distributed on Tuesday; that chapter details how the University is in compliance with each of the seven standards, showcases areas of strength for the University in each standard, and notes areas where the University must continue to make improvements based on the standards.

Today (March 29), Middle States Tri-Chair Rochelle Ford, Newhouse professor and Public Relations Department chair, presents to the Senate to give an overview of the process and the findings, and to entertain questions from the Senate. Then between now and September, members of the Senate are encouraged to give feedback on the draft.

Particularly since the University Senate functions as an advisory body to the Chancellor and represents all aspects of the University community, the Senate’s feedback is critical to this process of peer review, reflection, and momentum.

Already 22 senators have participated in the Middle States self-study effort to research and write this initial draft. The Middle States Steering Committee appreciates the entire Senate starting its engines in this review process and continuing to provide feedback on the self-study draft.

The entire campus will have an opportunity to review and provide feedback beginning on April 18. For more information visit

Rochelle Ford