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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • UND preps for once-a-decade accreditation review

  • Leaders at the University of North Dakota have been busy preparing for a once-a-decade accreditation review scheduled for this week.
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  •  Leaders at the University of North Dakota have been busy preparing for a once-a-decade accreditation review scheduled for this week.
    Five members of the Chicago-based North Central Association's Higher Learning Commission plan to spend Monday through Wednesday on campus reviewing the institution, the Grand Forks Herald reported Sunday. The independent corporation measures more than 1,000 institutions of higher learning in 19 states.
    Robert Kelley, the university's president, said the review is a mandatory requirement because federal financial aid flows only to accredited schools.
    Kelley says UND officials have been working for several years preparing for the review. He says the university is in good shape and expects to pass the review.
    "We are not going to fail," Kelley said. "We are in good shape."
    UND is marking its 100th year being accredited by the association.
    Kelley credited 150 campus leaders who he said have been working on UND's own self-study to meet the "Exceptional UND" vision he began laying out in 2010. The university issued a 300-page report for itself in August that is also well-designed for the commission's visit.
    At their last review 10 years ago, commission team members voiced concern about the way UND and the State Board of Higher Education dealt with the nickname and logo controversy. It recommended revisiting the decision to keep it or reconsider the way the decision was made.
    The nickname has now been gone for a year.
    North Dakota voters next year will decide whether to revamp the way the state runs the 11 public universities and colleges. The North Dakota Legislature's decision to seek a constitutional measure followed months of debate over the leadership of Hamid Shirvani, chancellor of the North Dakota University System, who was dismissed in June.
    Before Shirvani left, the chancellor criticized Kelley and UND for not focusing enough on research and overseeing athletic programs. Faculty members and administrators at UND have voiced their support for Kelley.
    Those interested in the accreditation can attend an open forum 4 to 5 p.m. Monday in the Memorial Union Lecture Bowl.

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