Event to give updates on construction, strategic plan, SACSCOC visit

Ongoing work to revitalize WCU’s old Brown Cafeteria into a modern dining facility will be among the topics of discussion at a Monday, April 24, forum.

Three topics of universitywide significance are on the agenda for a public forum Monday, April 24, as Western Carolina University leaders provide updates about campus construction projects, the recent visit by a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges review team, and progress on meeting goals of the university’s strategic plan.

The session will be held in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Mike Byers, WCU vice chancellor for administration and finance, will give a status report on construction and renovation projects underway and on the drawing boards. Projects to be discussed include the revitalization of old Brown Cafeteria into a modern dining facility, plans for a replacement for WCU’s 1970s-era Natural Sciences Building, the development of additional residence hall space, and the possibility of a new parking deck and an indoor athletics practice facility.

Tim Metz, assistant vice chancellor for institutional planning and effectiveness, will give a summary of progress toward achieving goals outlined in WCU’s 2020 Vision strategic plan, which was adopted in 2012 as a roadmap intended to guide the institution’s direction and development. Metz also will discuss plans to refresh the document to reflect changes in internal and external environments, including the recent adoption of a new strategic plan by the University of North Carolina system.

Arthur Salido, WCU’s SACSCOC director, will share information about the ongoing accreditation reaffirmation process, including progress on the development of the Quality Enhancement Plan, titled DegreePlus. Salido also will share feedback from members of an external review team who visited campus April 3-6.

A comprehensive multiyear effort, the reaffirmation process involves demonstrating that WCU has met in-depth SACSCOC standards that ensure the university is offering high-quality programs for students. WCU has been continuously accredited by SACSCOC, its institutional accrediting body, since 1946 and last reaffirmed accreditation for a 10-year period in 2007.