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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

September 9, 2005

University accreditation

Self-study ready for your comments

by Diana Pounds

The self-study that will be a key part of Iowa State's accreditation review next spring is ready for comments from the campus community.

You can comment on the study via e-mail or during two open forums in early October. An Oct. 6 forum will begin at 3 p.m. in the Memorial Union Gallery. An Oct. 7 forum will begin at 11 a.m. in room 244 of the Union. Both forums are scheduled for one hour.

The self-study is online at It will help acquaint the external accreditation team with Iowa State before it visits campus in March 2006.

"The study must accurately characterize Iowa State and provide evidence that we meet criteria for reaccreditation," said David Holger, associate provost and leader of the self-study steering committee. "The university community can help ensure that this important document is accurate and complete by offering comments and suggestions."

Those who can't attend a forum can send comments via the Web site's "feedback" link or e-mail them to

Iowa State's last accreditation visit was in 1996. Much has changed since then, Holger said. The focus of the accreditation review has switched from past accomplishments to the institution's plan to improve in the future.

And Iowa State's self-study has morphed from a mountain of paper to an online document. The online site is handy to use and will allow reviewers who want more information to "drill down" to department and unit levels via links to existing Web sites, Holger said. (Paper versions of the study will be available for those who want it.)

Comments on the self-study from individuals and campus groups will be taken into account as the study is revised and refined this fall. The study will be submitted to the Higher Learning Commission at the end of the semester. The review team will visit campus March 27-29, 2006.

The accreditation team recommends whether an institution is reaccredited and for how long. The maximum accreditation is for 10 years. The team also is likely to make suggestions on how the university can improve.

More Information

Self-study Web site

Open forums

  • Oct. 6, 3 p.m., Gallery, Memorial Union
  • Oct 7, 11 a.m., Room 244, Memorial Union