Stony Brook University is in the process of a decennial review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a group that reviews institutions of higher learning for the federal government to make sure both research and loan funds are being spent well.

Every 10 years, institutions that are part of the Middle States undergo examination “in order to promote educational excellence and ensure compliance with its outlined standards of quality,” according to a letter written by President Samuel L. Stanley to the members of the Stony Brook community.

Stony Brook was first accredited by the Middle States in 1957. The process that the university undergoes involves self-review to make sure that it follows the 14 standards for accreditation. A planning committee consisting of six groups of faculty, grad students and undergraduates will review the “Self-Study Design Plan” which, according to Dennis Assanis, the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, defines as “a comprehensive self-study which will investigate topics such as the assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning, the interdisciplinarity of knowledge, the integration of our educational offerings and research activities, the inclusion of diversity and internationalization in our curricula, as well as many other issues of key importance in the development of plans that will shape the future of Stony Brook.”

The review will help prepare the university for a visit by an evaluation team in Spring 2014, and will take two years to complete. This is Stony Brook’s first comprehensive review in 20 years. It is comprehensive in that it will include all facets of the university such as student life, education, the hospital as well as other outlets. The review is also optional, but is being undergone by President Stanley because he is relatively new to the university.

If Stony Brook fails to pass the review, then research and loan funds will not be lost. If Stony Brook passes, however, it can gain re-accreditation with or without provisions.

Students who are interested in following the process are urged by President Stanley and Assanis to follow the Stony Brook website for updates and to submit questions regarding the process to middlestates@stonybrook.edu.

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