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Welcome back for Spring 2015! I hope that you were able to enjoy a restorative and healthy break, and that you begin the new year with renewed enthusiasm for all that is ahead at the U.

One major effort underway is preparation for the university-wide accreditation review that will take place in 2015-16. The current task is developing a comprehensive self-study report that characterizes the major accomplishments and aims of our entire institution, with a particular focus on how we evaluate our efforts and outcomes, and use evaluation as a tool for continuous improvement.

AVP Martha Bradley Dean Dave KiedaAssociate Vice President Martha Bradley and Graduate School Dean Dave Kieda are co-chairing a team with representatives from across the university tasked with developing this comprehensive narrative of the goals, achievements, challenges and plans of the U. Here’s a summary of team members and their task (charge letter). Accreditors will visit the campus in 2015-16, and will be interested in talking with faculty, students and staff during that visit.

Our accreditation report builds on four broad goals of the campus to organize discussion of our major efforts to advance the university. These four goals are:

• Enhance Student Success to Transform Lives
• Generate New Knowledge and Discovery
• Improve Health and Quality of Life
• Ensure Long-Term Viability of the University

We are planning opportunities to talk with the campus community about these goals in Spring 2015, hoping to hear from you about major activities underway and anticipated in your units that connect and contribute to these goals.

The self-study is a community-wide, open document, and drafts will be made available to the Academic Senate, Council of Academic Deans, and general community for feedback in the mid-Spring Semester. (self-study website)

We aim to have the self-study finalized during summer semester 2015. It will then be publicly available of the web.

I would like to extend special thanks to Marti and Dave for their leadership of the accreditation effort on behalf of our campus, and to all members of the self-study team. Self-study is rarely an easy undertaking; when it’s done right, though, the benefits are many. It informs all of us about where we excel, and where and how we can take action to improve the university.

My warm appreciation to all who work every day to strengthen the U, and my best wishes for 2015.