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Release: Immediate

Accreditation agency seeks public comment on the University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit Feb. 22-25, 1998, by a team representing the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the university. Comments should be sent to this address:
Public Comment on The University of Iowa
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Written, signed comments must be received by Jan. 19, 1998. The Commission cannot guarantee that comments received after the due date will be considered. Comments should include the name, address, and telephone number of the person providing the comments. Comments will not be treated as confidential.

The University of Iowa was first accredited in 1913 as a charter member of the North Central Association. The university offers programs leading to the Bachelor's (arts and sciences and professional curricula) degree, the Master's (arts and sciences and professional curricula) degree, the Specialist's degree, and the Doctor's (research and professional curricula) degree. The university offers courses and programs at its campus in Iowa City; some courses are also offered at other locations within the state.

The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education is one of six accrediting agencies in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole. Other agencies provide accreditation for specific programs. Accreditation is voluntary. The Commission accredits approximately 950 institutions of higher education in a nineteen-state region. The Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

For the past 18 months, the University of Iowa has been engaged in a process of self study, addressing the Commission's requirements and criteria for accreditation. For this review, the university has selected a special emphasis: "The Application of Computer Technology to Teaching and Learning in a Research University." The evaluation team will visit the institution to gather evidence that the self study is thorough and accurate. The team will recommend to the Commission a continuing status for the university; following a review process, the Commission itself will take the final action.

Individuals with a specific dispute or grievance with an institution should request the separate Policy on Complaints document from the Commission office. The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education cannot settle disputes between institutions and individuals. Complaints will not be considered third party comment.