UNM to host forums on accreditation criteria

Editor’s note: This story has been changed to reflect a change in location of the meeting on March 4 at 2 p.m.

The University of New Mexico will host public forums regarding the Higher Learning Commission’s criteria for accreditation – an evaluation and certification process that establishes whether a college or university meets formal official requirements for quality.

Moderated by a review team from the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in New Mexico and 18 other states, these “university conversations” will be organized around the criteria for accreditation and will provide more information and clarity to the reviewers.

UNM President Garnett Stokes told regents at a recent meeting that the open forums are part of the decennial reaffirmation of the university’s accreditation.

“There’s going to be a lot of involvement on campus,” Stokes said. “(The HLC site visitors) are going to have a lot of questions for a lot of different groups. This is going to be all hands on deck for everyone in the campus community to talk to these site visitors about what we’ve been accomplishing in the 10 years since their last full visit.”

The Criteria for Accreditation are the standards of quality by which the Commission determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation.

They are as follows:

• Mission: The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

• Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct – The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.

• Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support – The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.

• Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement – The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

• Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness – The institution’s resources, structures and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.

UNM has been continuously accredited through the Higher Learning Commission since 1922.

Members of the public and campus community are invited to attend one of the forums at the following times and locations:

• From 10:45 a.m.-noon on March 4, at the Anderson School of Management, MCM 2110 (Criteria 3-4)

• From 2-3 p.m. on March 4 at the Student Union Building, Ballroom A (Criteria 1-2)

• From 10-11 a.m. on March 5 at the Domenici Center, Room 2720 (Criterion 5)

The events will also be accessible via Zoom so that anyone can join from main campus, the Health Sciences Center and any of the branch campuses. More details on remote access will be provided prior to the forums.

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