A campus visit October 7–9, 2013, by members of a peer review team from the Higher Learning Commission brought Ball State one step closer to continuing its institutional accreditation.
During their visit to Ball State, members of the HLC team conducted interviews with numerous representatives of the campus community, including President Jo Ann Gora, Provost Terry King, deans, department heads, faculty, staff and students.
Separate open meetings with the HLC team were held on Monday, October 7, from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. with faculty, staff and students in the following locations:
- Faculty and Professional Personnel Open Meeting—Teachers College Building (TC) 120
- Staff Open Meeting—Art and Journalism Building (AJ) 175
- Student Open Meeting—Whitinger Business Building (WB) 141
The visiting HLC team members sought to validate evidence Ball State presented in its final self-study report of how well the university meets a set of criteria established by the commission.
Ball State's self-study report reflects two years of research, writing, and revisions by several campuswide committees along with important feedback from faculty, staff, students, and the local community through draft review opportunities and a series of public forums held in 2012. The report was completed and published online in August.
Associate Provost Marilyn Buck, co-chair of the institutional accreditation steering committee, said the Ball State community should be willing to answer questions team members may ask.
"They're going to be asking for people-students, faculty, anybody they encounter on campus-to share what their experiences have been at Ball State," she said. "They'll be trying to talk to as many people as they can while they are here."
The accreditation process is vital to institutions of higher education as a method of assuring a school's quality and advancement. Accreditation is a requirement for federal student financial aid eligibility and educational programs for military students. It also validates the university's efforts to secure public support and private gifts.
Ball State has been accredited since 1925 and received its most recent 10-year accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission in 2004.
Following the HLC site visit, the Higher Learning Commission will announce its decision in spring 2014.