• WSCUC Newsletter: March 2022

    March 8, 2022 - WSCUC

Table of Contents


President Studley’s Letter: Spreading the Word about WSCUC’s Leadership

Greetings, colleagues!

ICYMI, please check out my recent piece Who Knew? Five Surprises about Accreditation (Inside Higher Ed, 2/17/22). I seized the chance to simultaneously announce the expansion of our Key Indicators Dashboard (KID) to include peer benchmarking data and to do some myth-busting about accreditation generally. What fun it is to showcase WSCUC’s new national and growing international reach, describe our pioneering use of data to illuminate student success, and remind people about our leadership in transparency practices.

The WSCUC Commission continues to grapple with cutting edge questions. At the February meeting, masked but happy to be in person, commissioners reflected on the intensifying national discussion of the value of higher education and the public and individual, intangible and tangible, dimensions of the concept of return on investment. We’re thinking about what connection these have to understanding and promoting quality through accreditation, and to WSCUC Standards and to the evidence we use.

In between weeklong sessions of federal ‘negotiated rulemaking,’ where I represent accrediting agencies, I enjoy carrying the message to many audiences of our good work together to be a leader in accreditation as we focus on student success and institutional effectiveness.

  • WSCUC VP Stephanie Huie and I recently briefed policy staff of a cluster of national higher education policy organizations on KID and how we use evidence in institutional reviews and Commission decisions. They said it was a “pleasant surprise” that WSCUC institutions appreciate the value of evidence in context and benchmarking; one said, “I am deeply impressed … that schools are not pushing back.” That reaction is a tribute to WSCUC institutions’ enlightened, quality-focused values.
  • And I’m heading to San Diego for the American Council on Education annual meeting where I’ll provide the “macro view” on a session on “Strategic Metrics: The Secret Ingredient to Transforming Your Institution.”

Most exciting of all, we will explore all these ideas and advances April 20-22 at ARC2022: Equity & Excellence in Action on the waterfront in San Francisco.

  • I’m excited that keynoter Dr. Clint Smith, author of How the Word is Passed on the NY Times 2021 Top 10 list, will help us understand our history and build a future of equity together.
  • I love the title of Amelia Parnell’s “We Are All Data People Now” – she’s so good at linking the whole campus and using evidence to generate the best possible outcomes for students.
  • We’ll close with a session about how every one of you can promote change and justice, called “Leading from Every Seat.”

Add dozens of focused concurrent sessions, special events for ALOs and CEOs, and Special Interest Groups, and you have a perfect, can’t miss chance to gather again with colleagues. See you at ARC!

Jamie Studley


WSCUC Standards and Handbook Review Process

The Commission received a report from the Chair of the Standards and Handbook Review Work Group, affirming the principles and guidelines being used to revise the Standards and the Handbook.  Read more about the Standards’ principles and guidelines.


Educational Programs Updates

Learn about the three exciting plenary sessions happening at ARC2022: Equity & Excellence in Action April 20 – 22 in San Francisco, changes coming to the Leadership Academy, and new Peer Reviewer trainings. Read more.


Launch of Graduate Only KID and Peer Benchmarking on WSCUC Website

Find out about WSCUC’s updates to the Key Indicators Dashboard (KID), including for institutions with graduate-only programs and institutional peers and benchmarks. Read more.


Commission Policy Changes and Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Changes

There have been updates to the Conflict of Interest Policy and Standards of Conduct and Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest Form, and WSCUC is requesting comments on the Gifts Policy and Ownership of Stock in For-Profit Institutions Policy. Read more.


New WSCUC Staff

WSCUC is pleased to welcome Michael Westerfield, PhD, who is joining the Substantive Change team as an Associate. Michael is Vice President Emeritus and ALO at William Woods University, having served as its Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and overseeing institutional effectiveness and accreditation. His past roles at other institutions include faculty member, Provost, President, and Board member. Michael has extensive experience with institutional and programmatic accreditation from both peer reviewer and institutional perspectives.


WSCUC Commission Calendar​​​

  • Commission Meeting
    June 22-24, 2022
  • Commission Retreat Meeting
    November 2-4, 2022
  • Commission Meeting
    February 22-24, 2023