2016-17 Reaffirmation of Accreditation

The Structure

We will use a committee structure to complete the Assurance Review, ensuring broad participation across the university. Roles and responsibilities for the primary committees are described below.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee includes selected individuals representing key campus units and governance groups. The Committee’s primary role is to oversee and guide the comprehensive evaluation.

The Committee

The Steering Committee includes members of the Chancellor’s Senior Administrative Team plus representatives from Faculty Senate and ASUN.

Deans Council

The Deans Council includes all academic deans representing all UNL colleges. The Deans Council’s charge is to support and promote the review process as an institutional priority within the respective colleges.

The Council

The Deans Council includes all academic deans representing all UNL colleges.

Accreditation Leadership Team

The Leadership Team, which includes the Accreditation Liaison Coordinator and members of the Senior Vice Chancellor’s administrative team, is charged with assisting the work of the Criterion Work Groups.

The Team

  • Ellen Weissinger, Senior Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs
  • Laurie Bellows, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies
  • Amy Goodburn, Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs
  • Renee Batman, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs

Accreditation Liaison Coordinator

The Accreditation Liaison Coordinator is responsible for organizing and promoting the comprehensive evaluation.

The Coordinator

Laurie Bellows, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies

HLC Criterion Work Groups

Five Work Groups have been formed, one for each criterion. These Work Groups will be charged with the responsibility of developing the Assurance Argument and identifying and collecting evidentiary materials for the Evidence File. More specifically, the Work Groups will be asked to

The Work Groups

  • HLC Criteria 1

    Criterion One

    Chair: Renee Batman
    Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs

    Criterion One Page

  • HLC Criteria 2

    Criterion Two

    Chair: Steve Goddard
    Associate Vice Chancellor, Research and Economic Development
    John E. Olsson Professor of Computer Science and Engineering

    Criterion Two Page

  • HLC Criteria 3

    Criterion Three

    Chair: Amy Goodburn
    Professor, English
    Associate Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs

    Criterion Three Page

  • HLC Criteria 4

    Criterion Four

    Chair: Nancy Mitchell
    Professor, Advertising
    Director, Undergraduate Studies

    Criterion Four Page

  • HLC Criteria 5

    Criterion Five

    Chair: Bill Nunez
    Director, Institutional Research and Planning
    Associate to the Chancellor

    Criterion Five Page

Federal Compliance Work Group

Work group members will be asked to evaluate the university’s compliance with federal guidelines and provide brief narrative responses and supporting documentation where necessary. They will work with the Accreditation Liaison Coordinator to inform campus leadership of any issues related to compliance and make recommendations for addressing these issues.

The Work Group

Federal Compliance Work Group

Federal Compliance Work Group

Chair: James Volkmer
Assistant Dean, Academic Services and Enrollment Management

Federal Compliance Work Group Page

Data Support Team

Selected staff members will be identified to form a data support team to assist the Criterion Work Groups in defining, locating, collecting, and graphically presenting the required data or documents needed for the Evidence File.

The Team

  • Dottie Harrell, Programmer/Analyst, Institutional Research and Planning
  • Erin Paseka, Graduate Data Systems Specialist, Graduate Studies
  • Vanessa Roof, Research Analyst, Academic Affairs

Communications Support Team

Team members will assist Leadership Team with all communications related to comprehensive evaluation (web site updates, UNL Today, Scarlet, social media, etc.).

The Team

  • Steve Smith (chair), News Director, University Communications
  • Jill Brown, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, External Relations
  • Christopher Dulak, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, Campus Recreation
  • Keith Shelley, Web Designer, Academic Affairs
  • Tyler Thomas, Social Media Specialist and Content Coordinator, University Communications

Proposed Timeline

Planning for the 2016-2017 HLC Reaffirmation of Accreditation has begun. At the start of the spring 2015 semester, Criterion Work Groups convened to review the Criterion for Accreditation and to develop a work agenda, with the goal of completing the Assurance Argument and Evidence File by Summer 2015.

Year 2013-14
2013-2014 Quality Initiative year one
Year 2014-15
2014-2015 Quality Initiative year two
July 2014 Assurance Coordinator reviews previous UNL accreditation reports and reports from similar institutions; drafts Accreditation plan
August 2014 Steering Committee members identified; Criterion Team Leaders identified; Chancellor provides charge to Steering Committee and Criterion Team Leaders
August 2014 Accreditation Plan submitted to SVCAA for review
September 2014 Accreditation Plan submitted to HLC Liaison
September 2014 Forum with senior administrators and Dean’s Council to introduce Accreditation Plan
Accreditation Plan revised as necessary
Spring 2015 HLC notification of dates of site visit. Alert administrators, deans of site visit time to reserve space on calendars; outline time frame for reserving hotel space, meetings rooms, other arrangements for the site visit.
September 2014 Criterion Chairs selected
Councils and Committee presentations begin
October 2014 Web site developed for UNL Open Pathways Reaffirmation of Accreditation; regularly updated with information about accreditation process
November 2014 ACE 10 assessments due. Biennial program assessment reports due
January 2015 Work Group Retreat
Jan 2015-April 2015 Criterion Teams work on Assurance Arguments, identifying evidence, developing early drafts
March 2015 Leadership Team representatives attend HLC annual meeting
April 2015 Leadership Team/Steering Committee reviews draft reports from Criterion Teams; provide feedback
May 2015 Criterion Work Groups complete review and analyses of criterion, produce final drafts of assurance arguments claims
June 2015 Criterion Work Chairs finalize drafts of assurance arguments claims and submit to HLC Editor.
April – August 2015 Assurance Argument edited and reviewed.
Year 2015-16
November 2015 ACE program review
January - March 2016 Campus reviews Assurance Review, provides comments. Provide opportunity for public comments
August 2016 Quality Initiative report submitted
April 2016 Distribute online student opinion survey
April-June 2016 Final review of Assurance Review by university administration
July 2016 Final version of Assurance Review ready for review team
Summer 2016 Site visit arrangements completed
Year 2016-17
October 24 & 25, 2016 HLC site visit
Spring 2017 Criterion Work Groups review Peer Reviewers report and recommendations
Chancellor received draft of Peer Reviewers report from HLC, shares with SVCAA and steering committee to review draft report for correction of errors of fact
Final report reviewed and institutional response provided
HLC action(s) communicated to campus stakeholders; celebrate achievements, recognize students, staff, faculty and administrators who participated and contributed to the process; review/discuss final report; set goals for continuous improvement

Learn more about UNL's milestones

Engaging UNL Stakeholders

One of the goals of the comprehensive evaluation is to solicit broad participation by representative and diverse constituencies in gathering evidence for the assurance review, analyzing institutional performance, and reviewing conclusions and recommendations. We will accomplish this goal using the following strategies:

Focused group discussions during academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16
The site visit will involve open discussions with UNL stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, community leaders, and Regents; therefore, it’s important to engage the campus early and often to prepare them for such conversations.
Survey of Student Opinion
HLC will conduct a student opinions survey to inform the peer review team and help them identify possible questions for meetings with faculty, staff, and students during the visit. The survey supports the Commissions efforts to make the accreditation process more open and transparent.
Forums for public comment
Opportunities for input, feedback, and public comment on the Assurance Filing will be solicited through small group discussions with key stakeholders and through a commenting feature on the accreditation web site.

Responding to the Report

Reaffirmation of accreditation is an iterative process. Responding to the report closes the loop.

Recognize achievement of reaffirmation of accreditation and thank all those who contributed to the process.
Take stock
Review Commission’s report; share with stakeholders; evaluate information; discuss and use results to develop, nurture, and improve key initiatives.
Set goals for continuous improvement
Closing the accreditation loop
Closing the accreditation loop