Arthur Salido, associate professor of chemistry and physics, has been appointed to take the reins of Western Carolina University’s bid for reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Salido, who also directs WCU’s graduate program in chemistry and physics, will succeed Stephen Miller, associate professor of economics, who was appointed last year to lead reaffirmation of WCU’s SACSCOC accreditation. Miller is leaving Western Carolina later this summer to become director of the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy in the Sorrell College of Business at Troy University.
Announcement of Salido’s appointment was made Thursday, May 21, by WCU Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar.
“I am so delighted that Dr. Salido has agreed to take on this very important role at the university,” Morrison-Shetlar said. “He brings a strong set of skills to the table as an energetic, innovative and strategic thinker, and his attention to detail and his collaborative style will enable him to pick up where Dr. Miller leaves off. I feel certain that the university will not miss a beat in this reaffirmation process.”
Salido and Miller will work side-by-side during the transition until Miller’s final day at WCU on July 15, she said.
A comprehensive, multiyear effort, the reaffirmation process involves demonstrating that WCU has met in-depth SACSCOC standards that ensure WCU is offering high-quality programs for students. Successful reaffirmation of accreditation is important for reasons such as preserving WCU’s ability to be able to confer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and maintaining eligibility to receive and distribute federal financial aid funds. The university has been continuously accredited by SACSCOC, WCU’s institutional accrediting body, since 1946 and last reaffirmed accreditation for a 10-year period in 2007.
As part of the process, Western Carolina will develop a compliance certification report, which documents how WCU meets core requirements, comprehensive standards and federal requirements; and a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which details how WCU will enhance quality in the future. The documents will be reviewed by external teams, and a SACSCOC review team will visit WCU in spring 2017.
Salido, who joined the WCU faculty in 2006, said he considers it “a great honor” to be selected as the new SACSCOC director.
“Accreditation depends on contributions from the entire campus community. I am eager to begin working with faculty and staff across the university, and specifically the compliance and QEP committees, to ensure that the accreditation process is seamless and successful,” he said. “I am proud to be an integral part of the continual assessment process of our excellent institution and I am honored to contribute in a meaningful way to the future of WCU.”
While a faculty member, Salido earned a master’s degree in business administration from WCU in 2011. He previously was chief chemist at Botanipharm LLC, a North Carolina-based company that develops botanical medicines using biologically standardized, forest-grown goldenseal, from 2002 until 2006. He also has taught at Mercer University and the Southwest Virginia Governor’s School, and has worked as a chemist for the Charlotte Utilities Division and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. He was a visiting assistant professor of chemistry at WCU from 2000 until 2002.
He serves as a consultant for several Western North Carolina biotechnology and brewing companies, and is a member of several industry and education advocacy boards.
Salido earned his doctoral degree in analytical chemistry from Wake Forest University in 1999 and his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 1994.