President’s Update – March 29, 2006 – Middle States Visit

Dear Members of the University Community,

As part of the University’s 10-year accreditation process, representatives of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education visited Fairleigh Dickinson this week and found that the University meets all 14 accreditation standards.

Building from the recently completed self-study report as a guide, representatives met formally and informally with faculty, students and staff at both the College at Florham and the Metropolitan Campus. At the conclusion of the three-day visit, the 11-member team presented an oral report to University officials this morning. The oral report is a preview of the draft written evaluation report, which will be submitted to FDU within two weeks.

Based on the oral report, the University has reason to be proud and there are specific areas on which to focus. The oral report credited FDU for completing a “thorough, thoughtful and well-organized” self-study that “accurately captures the challenges and the significant accomplishments of the University.” The team praised FDU for achieving progress in a number of critical areas. Among the highlights cited by the team are the development of the global education mission, the academic breadth and rigor of the curricula and the high number of discipline-based accredited programs, the forging of distinctive campus identities, increased enrollment, significantly improved fiscal health, and a series of impressive capital projects.

The team offered specific recommendations the University needs to follow. These reinforce initiatives already under way and are consistent with points made by University representatives in the course of completing our self-study. The recommendations include the completion of our next strategic plan with measurable goals and objectives (to be submitted by December 2007), the creation of a University-wide assessment plan and an information literacy initiative. The team also recommended that student learning outcomes be established consistent with the mission and that those findings be made available to current and prospective students.

After the University responds to the draft written evaluation report, the team will provide an overall recommendation to the Middle States Commission for its June meeting.

As more information becomes available, I will share it with you. But I wanted you to know that the team members were very impressed with the progress at FDU in the last 10 years. The oral report bodes well for the University. I thank all those who participated in the self-study process. Your careful evaluations and recommendations were thorough, thoughtful and constructive. Above all, I thank all those who have helped us to improve and who continue to make this a wonderful place to learn. Congratulations!

Thank you very much,

Michael Adams