Western’s SACS liaison to visit campus November 14

CULLOWHEE – Ann Chard, a vice president of the Commission on Colleges for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools who is Western Carolina University’s official SACS liaison, will be on campus Monday, Nov. 14, for a series of meetings to review the status of Western’s reaccreditation efforts.

In her role as SACS liaison, Chard is working directly with members of the university as they make their way through the lengthy SACS self-study process, which began last year and will continue through the 2007 spring semester.

Chard will discuss Western’s progress toward SACS reaccreditation during a public meeting for all members of the university community, scheduled for 3 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Grandoom of A.K. Hinds University Center.

While at Western, she will brief members of the Chancellor’s Executive Council, followed by a luncheon meeting with the combined SACS committees – the Leadership Team, the Quality Enhancement Plan Committee and the Compliance Committee – at 11:30 a.m. in the Hospitality Room of the Ramsey Center. She also will meet with members of the SACS Leadership Team to assist them in their role as official overseers of the SACS review process for Western.

SACS is the major accrediting body for more than 780 public and private institutions of higher education in the South. Western has been accredited by SACS since 1946; the last accreditation review took place in 1996. The next review will occur in the spring of 2007 when the review team will visit Western upon completion of the self-study process currently under way.

Since Western’s last accreditation review, there has been a major change in the process, said Carol Burton , who is directing Western’s efforts. While universities still have to meet stringent standards, they also are required to show how they are getting better. Instead of evaluating a static process, the reviewers will be looking for improvements that show measurable results in student learning and outcomes.

Chard has served as associate executive director of the Commission on Colleges of SACS since 1992. She earned her master’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her doctorate in English from Auburn University.

For more information, visit the SACS Review Web site at http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/sacs-review/.