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Purpose and Overview of the Self-Study Process

This self-study began in February 1999 when individuals nominated by their college, division, or governance group were invited by Provost Aaron Podolefsky to serve as members of the UNI/NCA Steering Committee (see Appendix A:
Additional information is avavilable in the NCA Report Appendix. Print copies are available for review at UNI's Rod Library). The University of Northern Iowa self-study process involved participants from all facets of the University‹Academic Affairs, academic support, administrative support, and external relations. The Provost appointed Reinhold Bubser, Associate Dean in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, to chair the committee and charged the committee on April 28:

"As you may know, the NCA process serves two fundamental purposes: quality assurance and institutional and program improvement. The accreditation process offers us an opportunity for introspection ‹ reflection upon both our recent ten-year history and our vision for the future. By embracing this opportunity, we will fulfill the requirements for reaccreditation status as a North Central institution as well as chart a future that enables us to further realize our own mission." (http://www.uni.edu/vpaa/nca/committee/charge.shtml)

The Provost urged Committee members to make the self-study a high priority among their University commitments and distributed copies of the NCA accreditation guide and other relevant materials, to be read in preparation for committee work.

During the Fall 1999 semester the Steering Committee established a timeline, identified the categories of data, information, and reports that were needed, and established a process in which work groups collected data and drafted reports for analysis and synthesis by the writing committee. The Committee established a website to provide information to the UNI community on its activities. Individual committee members met with various campus groups and units to coordinate the work of the Steering Committee with that of the UNI Strategic Planning Committee, which was simultaneously formulating a draft of the 2001-2006 UNI Strategic Plan.

In the latter part of Spring 2000, criterion-specific working teams submitted their reports. Review of these reports led to further questions and requests for additional data and information; thus the work continued through Summer 2000. Beginning in Summer 2000, a team of writers in the UNI Office of Public Relations worked with members of the NCA Coordinating Committee to create a coherent and cohesive document. The entire document has been enhanced by the critiques and revisions resulting from reviews by the President's Cabinet, the Academic Affairs Council, and members of the UNI/NCA Steering Committee.

A working draft of the self-study report was made available to the UNI campus in hard copy and via the web. A draft was also sent to Dr. Robert Appleson, Associate Director of NCA and UNI's liaison to NCA. Comments were solicited from all readers, considered, and incorporated into the final document.

To the extent that this report is accurate, clear, thoughtful, and thought provoking, it will have served its various purposes.

Introduction

Criteria I
Criteria II
Criteria III
Criteria IV
Criteria V
Summary &
Recommendations
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