Pages 97-101 of North Central’s accreditation handbook discuss the assembly of the evaluation team and protocols for institutions to host team members. North Central also encourages institutions to offer their own feedback on the evaluation team’s professionalism and overall effectiveness.
On choosing the evaluation team members, North Central states:
“Several months before the visit is to take place, the Commission staff liaison proposes to the CEO a roster of consultant-evaluators to serve on the evaluation team. Professional Data Forms that provide information about each person’s current institutional affiliation and position, areas of professional expertise, and experience with the Commission accompany the roster. The team is carefully selected by the Commission staff liaison, mindful of the organization being visited as well as the Commission’s commitment to equity and diversity in the composition of teams. The organization may express concerns or reservations about proposed team members and definitely should indicate any potential conflicts of interest. The Commission makes every effort to alleviate serious organizational concerns about a proposed team member, but the Commission reserves the right to make the final choice of all team members. The organization is consulted on subsequent changes to an approved team caused by scheduling conflicts and emergencies.”
North Central’s guidance on the evaluation team’s interaction with key players on campus indicates that the decision rests with the CEO of the institution in determining who shall be interviewed—and makes no mention of a requirement for the involvement of individual faculty, members of the faculty senate, or representatives from local union organizations.
We suggest that faculty and staff who are interested in serving on a site team first contact their faculty senate, which may have already been consulted by North Central for candidates. Also, contact North Central directly to express interest in serving on a site team.
As a higher education affiliate, it is important to have your views heard by members of the site team. If it is not an option for the site team to meet with a local union representative, then ask your administration and North Central how to submit documentation to site team members for their review.