• WSCUC Newsletter: November 2023

    November 29, 2023 - WSCUC

Table of Contents


Timely Letter from Chair Tambascia & President Studley

WSCUC respects and appreciates the responsibility of institutions and their leaders to provide environments that support learning and teaching. We share with campus leaders a commitment to student learning and success, which require safety, tolerance, and compassion, as well as open discourse and inquiry, as essential components of a healthy educational environment. Sustaining those values and their expression has never been more challenging or more necessary. We need to model, indeed insist on, those values in the face of hate crimes and bias incidents on campuses, including antisemitism and Islamophobia.

We have heard from many in our community that it would be helpful for WSCUC to create opportunities for leaders, including presidents, provosts, student affairs officers, and others, to explore together how to maintain these values and conditions in their varied settings. In that spirit we have scheduled an informal conversation for senior leaders to be led by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Berkeley School of Law, a national expert on free expression and campus dialogue, the morning of Thursday, December 7, at 8:15 AM PT. (CEOs and ALOs received an email invitation earlier this week. Senior leaders interested in attending: please email Kris Matarrese at kmatarrese@wscuc.org.)

We are working on additional conversations and resources. Please let us know how WSCUC can further support institutions and leaders in providing environments that promote the values, and, yes, the standards that we share. Specific suggestions, questions, and examples for future activities, materials, and attention would be much appreciated. Please send them to Kris Matarrese at kmatarrese@wscuc.org.

Prof. Tracy Poon Tambascia, Commission Chair
Jamienne S. Studley, President


President’s Letter: It’s All Connected to Student Success

It’s November 22, and as I catch my breath to give thanks, host friends, and bake, I reflected on how many different ways my schedule of the last few weeks has touched on components of student success:

  • Moderating a panel on ‘The Value of Higher Education’ at AICCU (Association of Independent California Colleges & Universities).
  • Joining 11 state teams at a US Department of Education Conference on transfer student achievements and supports.
  • Supporting WSCUC Commission retreat discussions of new metrics to understand student postgraduate success; WSCUC’s equity and inclusion policies and guidance; federal and state policy developments; and smooth implementation of the new 2023 Standards.
  • Explaining to member institutions that WSCUC would welcome sub change proposals for “three-year bachelor’s degrees,” the focus being learning outcomes and the meaning and quality of the degree.
  • An interview with “The World” (PRX Radio) about WSCUC’s openness to innovative institutions around exactly that — the world.
  • All of these ideas will be part of the rich mix at ARC2024, The Big Picture: Framing the Challenges, Focusing on the Future, WSCUC’s annual meeting, on April 18-20 in San Diego. Watch for news of lively plenary sessions on student achievement measures and results, on change and challenge in higher education, and – wait for it – what AI means for higher education.

I’ll close by saying that WSCUC’s inaugural Director of Communications (starting December 4) will be Evelyn Somoza, with experience at Cal State Fullerton, University of La Verne, and Long Beach Unified School District. She joins a terrific team of WSCUC professionals eager to assist you and advance our work.

With thanks and best wishes for light and peace to all of you,

Jamie Studley


Inviting Nominations for WSCUC Commission by December 31, 2023

WSCUC Commissioners develop and approve commission standards and policy, act on institutional accreditation, and promote quality, equity, student success, and innovation. Commissioners say that it is fascinating and satisfying work, and that they learn a lot.

The Nominating Committee invites nominations and self-nominations by December 31 for the cohort that will begin their terms July 1, 2024. Please read about the role and its importance and the simple process here.


Educational Programming Invitations

Join us! The Commission will host two back-to-back, day-long, in-person workshops — on Strategic Program Outcomes and also Social Impact — in February, related to the 2023 Handbook and Standards. Come to ARC2024 April 18-20 in San Diego! And the Accreditation Leadership Academy (ALA) is in full swing (and applications for the next cohort open in the Spring). Read more.


Commission Policy Changes and Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Changes

The Commission has approved updates to the Public Access to the Commission Policy and the Periods of Accreditation Guide, and it has retired the Collegiate Athletics Policy. WSCUC is requesting comments on the Substantive Change Policy and the Complaints and Third-Party Comments Policy. Read more.


WSCUC Commission Calendar​​

  • Commission Meeting
    February 14 – 16, 2024
  • Commission Meeting
    June 26 – 28, 2024
  • ​​​Commission Retreat Meeting
    Nov 6 – 8, 2024