Campus Update Regarding WASC Accreditation Review

November 18, 2013

Dear UC Berkeley Community,

I am delighted that among my duties as Chancellor is the opportunity to celebrate milestones in the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation review of the Berkeley campus. Following a year of self-study, under the auspices of Vice Provost Cathy Koshland, the campus completed the institutional narrative, the required data exhibits, as well as the institutionally selected exhibits, and submitted them to WASC on the deadline of August 23, 2013. The campus community is invited to view these documents at

An External Review Team, chaired by President Mary Sue Coleman (University of Michigan), reviewed the campus documentation and conducted an off-site review culminating in a conference call October 31, 2013, with key leaders of the administration and the Academic Senate. The campus has now received the External Review Team off-site review report and I am pleased to announce that the Team commended UC Berkeley for

  • the quality, thoroughness, clarity, and depth of the institution’s self-study report, portraying a highly developed and complex institution;
  • proactive and innovative thinking about ways to mentor and retain new faculty in a time of constrained resources;
  • its systematic inquiry regarding curricular and co-curricular undergraduate learning goals and how units assess student learning;
  • efforts to increase graduation rates with a focus on a normative time-to-degree of four years;
  • the development of program-specific outcomes for graduate education and a common set of stated expectations for all graduate students;
  • the implementation of Operational Excellence to achieve efficiencies and a metrics-driven assessment of OE;
  • the creation and use of Cal Answers as a powerful reporting tool;
  • re-imagining the undergraduate experience, including constructive responses to previous accreditation reviews.

The Team recommended that the accreditation process proceed with the onsite Accreditation Visit in Fall 2014. The Visit will focus on key lines of inquiry, including:

  • support for equity and inclusion strategic planning;
  • how undergraduate education, including breadth requirements, is being re-imagined and how these initiatives are integrated into planning processes;
  • support for and the role of the Center for Teaching and Learning;
  • progress in the implementation of the Common-Good Curriculum Initiative;
  • efforts by Graduate Division to improve doctoral students’ preparation for both academic and non-academic careers;
  • the changing student demographic and how best to support each cohort;
  • how the campus will continue to support its long-term sustainability in a time of constrained resources;
  • updated plans for establishment of the Richmond Bay Campus.

The Accreditation Visit will take place October 22 - 24, 2014. The WASC Steering Committee will continue to lead preparations for the next milestone in the accreditation process. I and Vice Provost Koshland appreciate your cooperation if you are among the various campus units which may be contacted to participate in the planning for the Visit. If you have questions about our campus accreditation, please contact Accreditation Liaison Officer Cynthia Schrager at

Nicholas Dirks

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