Summary & Conclusions
Through its self-study process, the University of Northern Iowa has generated and communicated substantial evidence that it meets all five Criteria for Accreditation:
1. Has clear and publicly stated purposes consistent with its mission and appropriate to an institution of higher education
2. Has effectively organized the human, financial, and physical resources necessary to accomplish its purposes
3. Is accomplishing its educational and other purposes
4. Can continue to accomplish its purposes and strengthen its educational effectiveness
5. Demonstrates integrity in its practices and relationships.
The self-study process, however, involves more than demonstrating compliance with external standards. An essential collateral purpose of the self-study is to identify where and how the institution can improve. Six key areas have been identified for institutional improvement, each of which is reflected in portions of the UNI Strategic Plan for 2001-2006:
1. Integrating strategic planning, budgeting, program review, personnel development and evaluation systems, curriculum development, and other institutional decision-making functions that define and support institutional priorities
2. Attracting, developing, and supporting outstanding faculty, staff, and administrators who have the ability and commitment to realize the goals of the University
3. Attracting and retaining a greater portion of minority students for both undergraduate and graduate education
4. Further developing and implementing information systems associated with all key goals of the University, including student outcomes for undergraduate and graduate programs
5. Reinvigorating and strengthening general education and its relationship to student learning and programs of study throughout the University
6. Creating and actualizing a vision of the University as the finest public comprehensive university in the nation.
Taking place over a period of almost three years, our accreditation review is much more than a compliance activity. It requires enormous amounts of energy in the form of people's time, good will, talent, collaboration, and endurance. While each university wishes to uplift its outstanding accomplishments and to be recognized for its strengths, critically constructive reviews must balance an emphasis on achievements with attention to shortcomings and needed improvements. It is not easy to look into the mirror and rediscover who we are and how we can become an even better university. This goes far beyond compliance in meeting external standards established by an accrediting association. It calls forth the enlistment and commitment of students, faculty, staff, and administrators who represent all aspects of the institution and who are willing to strive for the ideals of what the university can become.
As a reflection on the self-study process and this report, the following lines by T. S. Eliot seem appropriate:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
(Source: "Little Gidding," Four Quartets. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971.)
Last Modified: 02/14/01