Dear Campus Community,
The Berkeley campus has launched its accreditation review under the auspices of its accreditation agency, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) - Senior College and Universities Commission (WSCUC). As an institution with a demonstrated history of strong student outcomes and organizational stability, the Commission has invited our campus to engage in the Thematic Pathway for Reaffirmation (TPR) process. This streamlined accreditation review process will allow the campus to focus its self-study on a set of themes which we determine to be particularly salient to our community. Though different from the standard accreditation process, we will still be held to the standards set by WASC and federal requirements for accreditation.
Over a six-month period in 2022 the WSCUC Reaffirmation Steering Committee consulted with administration, faculty, staff, and students across campus and the UC Berkeley 2018 Strategic Plan in identifying a theme. In October 2022 we submitted a proposal that identified how we would ground our self-study in a theme of “Discovery” with a targeted focus on Promoting Student Success Through Discovery and Engagement. We are pleased to share with you that the Commission has accepted our proposal and we will now move forward with the second phase of the review process. In conjunction with this acceptance we have now launched the 2024 Reaffirmation of Accreditation website. Members of our community are encouraged to check this website for updates on the progress of the accreditation review, access the latest documents, and seek out resources related to accreditation and the theme.
The decision to underpin our theme in discovery emerged from multiple angles. For over 150 years UC Berkeley has been at the forefront of discovery as the intellectual birthplace for statistical theory, the flu vaccine, 16 elements on the periodic chart, and hundreds of other findings that contribute to the intellectual, economic, and social good of our world. The search for new knowledge, new ways of doing, new ways of being, comes from UC Berkeley being a place that facilitates the discovery process. As we focus on how we want to further fuel that curiosity, we found the opportunity to deeply examine that discovery experience to coincide well with the accreditation process. As stated in our proposal, “In a world marked by rapid change in knowledge in a variety of fields, a deluge of information, and large data sets and competing interpretations of data, supporting our students in developing a creative and investigative mindset combined with the skills necessary to tackle difficult questions is vital to their success at UC Berkeley as well as an engaged lifelong learner and citizen post graduation.”
As we move forward in this review process, the Steering Committee will continue to engage the campus community as contributors to the narrative report, the required data exhibits, and related evidence that will culminate in a site visit by a six-person team of representatives from peer institutions.
If you have any questions about the review process, please contact the campus WASC Accreditation Liaison Officer & Assistant Vice Provost Cindy Bumgarner (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Oliver M. O’Reilly
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
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