NWCCU Responds to Concerns About Academic Freedom

Posted by  Ashley Bromley   in       Apr 2, 2019     1662 Views     Comments Off on NWCCU Responds to Concerns About Academic Freedom  

AAUP-Oregon representatives and other faculty who contacted the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) concerning the lack of academic freedom as a standard and criterion for accreditation received the encouraging response below. We will work with the NWCCU leadership to ensure strong language around academic freedom and governance is incorporated into the new draft accreditation standards. 


Over the last couple of weeks we have received emails regarding NWCCU’s draft, revised Standards from AAUP affiliates and faculty senate chairs, and provosts of a few institutions. (Those individuals are copied on this email.)

Additionally, we have received input during conversations with some individuals.

Based on the recent input received, we’ve made a decision to incorporate appropriate language in our draft Standards for Academic Freedom and Governance, along with revisions on other matters suggested by others.

We’ve extended the deadline for submission of additional comments for revisions through April 15, 2019.

The draft will be revised and sent out for further comments in May. The draft will be revised based on this round of comments.

After the Commission has provided additional comments on the near final draft, it’ll be revised as needed. Then it’ll be sent out for a vote by NWCCU’s family of institutions to approve the proposed Standards in late Summer 2019.

As I have noted previously, this is an iterative process and we appreciate the input, which continues strengthen the Standards.

Our hope is that, once approved, the new Standards will be deployed starting in January 2020.

If not already done, please connect with your relevant faculty organizations on your campuses, such as faculty senate chairs, and exhort them and other faculty to provide input regarding the draft Standards.

They may submit their comments on the current version of revised Standards available at (http://www.nwccu.org/accreditation/standards-review/) either via this link (https://www.tfaforms.com/4719938) or via email (standards@nwccu.org).

Thanks for your help.

Sonny Ramaswamy, President

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

8060 165th Avenue NE, Ste 100 | Redmond, WA 98052

Email: sonny@nwccu.org

Tel: 425-558-4224

URL: http://www.nwccu.org

Twitter: @NWCCUSonny