Interim Chancellor Venkat Reddy shared the news with faculty and staff March 7 and provided a link to assessment documents prepared by the seven-member accreditation team. The team visited campus in November 2016. Since then, the team’s recommendations underwent review by other members of the Higher Learning Commission to ensure accuracy.
“Under strong leadership and with a culture of collaboration, UCCS has strategically increased students, employees, infrastructure and facilities and revenues,” the review team wrote in its report. “Conversely, it has had modest tuition increases and remains the most affordable comprehensive regional four-year university in the state of Colorado.”
Reddy said: “This is the best possible outcome of an accreditation visit. I want to thank faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members who worked diligently to prepare information requested by the team. You represented our institution, and its values, with accuracy and passion.”
Reddy specifically thanked Terry Schwartz, interim provost, Susan Szpyrka, senior vice chancellor, Administration and Finance, and Peg Bacon, provost emerita, for their assistance in compiling data and preparing the report.
Chancellor Emerita Pam Shockley-Zalabak said: “I am pleased that UCCS is now able to share with the campus and the broader community the results of this thorough, professional review of the university. This report confirms the work of many over a period of years. I offer congratulations to all.”
In its comments, the Higher Learning Commission cited UCCS success in multiple areas including financial stability while having low increases in tuition, a transparent budget process, effective strategic planning and adhering to its mission of serving southern Colorado.
To see the full report, visit http://www.uccs.edu/Documents/hlc/University%20of%20Colorado-Colorado%20Springs-Final%20Report.pdf
Continued accreditation is vital for UCCS’ continued ability to attract high quality students and faculty. The U.S. Department of Education relies in part on accrediting agencies to determine eligibility for U.S. government assistance under certain legislation. Maintaining UCCS ability to receive federal funds in the form of student loans and research grants is vital to the university’s continued success. Accreditation also means students’ credits are transferrable.
The Higher Learning Commission is a regional accrediting body for universities. The team that visited UCCS in November 2016 consisted of faculty from other universities with experience in evaluating campuses on a set of criteria. The visit by that team is part of an overall evaluation process to ensure the quality of the degrees and programs offered by the university.
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