Upstate News

July 21, 2009
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Upstate gains 10-year reaccreditation

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University has been reaccredited for 10 years by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, effective June 25.

The commission is the unit of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools that accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in the Middle States region, including Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and several locations internationally.

The commission particularly commended Upstate for the quality of its self-study process and self-study report and offered the university no requirements or recommendations for improvement.

“Accreditation is an expression of the confidence that the commission has in an institution’s mission and goals, its performance and its resources,” said Paul Grover, Ph.D., associate vice president for academic affairs and associate dean for Continuing Medical Education at Upstate. Grover coordinated the university’s self-study process that was chaired by Upstate President David R. Smith, M.D.

Reaccreditation follows the success of Upstate in meeting the requirements of each category of Middle States’ 14 standards of excellence in higher education, including: mission and goals; planning, resource allocation and institutional renewal; institutional resources; leadership and governance; administration; integrity; institutional assessment; admissions and retention; student support systems; faculty; educational offerings; general education; related educational offerings, such as experiential learning; and assessment of student learning.

Middle States’ evaluators particularly commended Upstate for “providing exceptional medical and health-related education and services to the vast rural communities that define the upstate region” and for its “strong support for faculty development made evident through the number of initiatives that promote education and scholarship of the faculty.”

It also commended the university for its comprehensive strategic planning process that “was exemplary in its scope and breadth with input from faculty, staff and students”; for its new Upstate Pledge which promotes a culture of professionalism and high ethical standards; and for Smith’s Engaging Excellence initiative that challenges and encourages employees to create the best workplace possible.

“With its findings, the evaluators have endorsed and thereby strengthened our key initiatives in strategic planning, increased enrollment, capital growth, a unified practice plan and an expanded regional mission,” said Smith.

The process for reaccreditation is rigorous. It involves the completion of a Periodic Review Report that is submitted to Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools at the mid-point of the accreditation cycle to offer evidence of continued compliance. A self-study process; site visits by Middle States’ evaluation teams; and a self-study report are also necessary for reaccreditation.

Upstate’s self-study process began in the fall of 2007 and ended this past January. The process involved members of Dr. Smith’s senior administrative staff who served as committee members. Upstate faculty members and students were engaged in subcommittees that addressed each of Middle States’ standards of excellence.

The self-study process culminated in a report that was submitted in February to an evaluation team representing Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools is a voluntary, peer-based, non-profit association dedicated to educational excellence and improvement through peer evaluation and accreditation.

The association is one of six regional accrediting organizations for higher education institutions recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education. Middle States accreditation is valid for 10 years.

Upstate will begin its next self-study evaluation in 2018. The Periodic Review Report will be completed June 1, 2014.

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