Due to extenuating circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a peer review team appointed by the Higher Learning Commission will now virtually visit the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus to assure accountability and the quality of the educational environment.
The site visit, which takes place every 10 years and was initially scheduled for March 23-24, will now take place April 20-21 and be fully remote — including meetings delivered through tools like Google Hangouts or conference calls.
“The HLC is confident that the U-M community can effectively engage the peer review team through this online format,” said Dilip Das, assistant vice provost and accreditation liaison officer of the Ann Arbor campus. “We are grateful to U-M faculty, students and staff for their participation in the now remote visit.”
As part of the virtual visit, the HLC invites the campus community to attend a series of online open forums organized around its five accreditation criteria. The forums are designed to provide members of the university community with an opportunity to respond to questions and discuss topics of importance with the review team.
“This reaccreditation cycle has provided a great opportunity to tell the story of what our students learn,” said Michael Solomon, dean of the Rackham Graduate School and vice provost for academic affairs. “We’re excited to continue this conversation with the peer review team — and as a campus as we move into this new decade.”
Each of the virtual forums will take place April 20. They are:
- Criterion 5: Institutional Resources, Planning and Effectiveness — 10-10:45 a.m.
- Criteria 1 and 2: Mission and Integrity — 2-2:45 p.m.
- Criterion 3 and 4: Teaching, Learning and Assessment — 4-4.45 p.m.
The peer review team will also host an online question-and-answer session open to all campus community members from 10-10:45 a.m. April 21.
The schedule is subject to change until the date of the visit to accommodate the needs of the peer review team, which consists of higher education professionals in student affairs, central administration, finance, academic programs, assessment and other areas.
More information about the accreditation process, why it is important and how to join open meetings is available on the accreditation website.