To: OSU Community members
From: Edward Feser, Provost and Executive Vice President
October 15, 2019
Dear OSU community members,
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) has reaffirmed the regional accreditation of Oregon State University through 2026.
President Ray shared brief highlights from the NWCCU site visit with the university last April. In July, NWCCU President Sonny Ramaswamy communicated to President Ray the decision to reaffirm accreditation followed consideration of evidence presented in its Year Seven Self-Evaluation Report, the Year Seven Peer-Evaluation Report, and information received as part of OSU representatives meeting with Commissioners on June 20, 2019.
The Commission commended OSU in five areas:
The design of our websites, which make it particularly easy and intuitive for prospective students and others to find needed information;
Our work to allocate substantial resources to address needed repair and renovation of facilities on the Corvallis campus;
Our robust culture of planning, including regular strategic planning and well-integrated planning for multiple levels and time periods;
Our comprehensive planning to improve student success and our numerous initiatives to provide strong academic support and positive out-of-class living and learning experiences, which are increasing retention and graduation rates even as enrollment has grown and diversified;
Our commitment to the Land Grant mission of providing broad access to educational opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds, including development of quality online courses and programs; educational outreach to underserved communities; the use of Extension facilities and services to reach across the State of Oregon; and collaborations with communities and community colleges.
Although the Commission indicated that the university is substantially in compliance with accreditation standards, it recommended improvement in three areas:
Our indicators of achievement should form a more meaningful basis for evaluating the accomplishment of our objectives;
As we expand Ecampus, OSU-Cascades, and activities in other locations, we should exercise care that credit and degrees, wherever offered and however delivered, are based on documented student achievement of our established Oregon State University learning outcomes;
We should use the results of our core theme assessments, particularly our student learning outcomes assessment, more consistently for improvement by informing planning, decision-making, and allocation of resources and capacity, and we should make our student learning outcomes assessment results available to constituencies outside Oregon State University in a timely manner.
The Year Seven Self-Evaluation Report will be used as a guide as we advance OSU’s Land Grant mission; as we continue to improve the delivery of teaching, research, and outreach and engagement, and as we develop future evaluations and reports to the NWCCU.
I thank the many faculty, staff, students, administrators and stakeholders who contributed to the writing of OSU’s Year Seven Self-Evaluation Report, and who took time to meet with and provide input to the peer evaluation team during their site visit in April. I extend special thanks to Susan Capalbo, senior vice provost for faculty affairs, for overseeing our re-accreditation effort, and to JoAnne Bunnage, Director of Accreditation, for managing this significant undertaking day-to-day.
Provost and Executive Vice President