Campus News

Team leaders named for two key SACS accreditation committees

Team leaders have been named for two key committees that will work on preparations for reaffirmation of UGA’s accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

David Shipley, T.R.R. Cobb Professor of Law and former dean of the School of Law, is chairing the Compliance Team, while Rodney Mauricio, an associate professor of genetics, is chairing the Quality Enhancement Plan Team. Both teams include more than 20 members from throughout UGA.

UGA President Michael F. Adams chairs a third team-the Leadership Team-that will oversee the entire reaffirmation process. The Leadership Team includes UGA’s three senior vice presidents: Arnett C. Mace Jr., Tim Burgess and Tom Landrum, plus Rodney Bennett, vice president for student affairs; Bob Boehmer, associate provost for institutional effectiveness and SACS liaison; Meg Amstutz, chief of staff in the president’s office, and senior faculty members Marcus Fechheimer and Denise Mewborn.

“The two-year process of preparing for reaffirmation of our accreditation by SACS presents a unique opportunity to reflect as an academic community on our strengths and weaknesses and initiate improvements,” said Boehmer. “It is also an opportunity to adopt an innovative Quality Enhancement Plan designed to improve student learning in a way uniquely suited to our needs and culture. Finally, it is an opportunity to showcase our excellence and further enhance our reputation.”

The Compliance Team will address what SACS refers to as the “principles” of accreditation, which fall into three categories: core requirements, comprehensive standards and federal requirements. The team will review each principle and provide the SACS review committee with the necessary evidence that UGA is in compliance.

The Compliance Audit Team, whose members make up the core of the Compliance Team, has been working since the spring on an audit of the degree to which UGA is in compliance with SACS principles. The audit-having identified those areas of UGA’s policies, practices and procedures that need attention-will provide the starting point for the work of the Compliance Team, which will electronically submit a compliance certificate no later than September 2010. The certificate will be evaluated by an off-site review committee and may be followed by an on-site visit if needed. The only principle for which the Compliance Team is not entirely responsible is the requirement that UGA develop an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan. The plan must focus on student learning, be highly participatory and the topic selection must be based on evidence and analysis of that evidence. In addition, UGA must show that it plans to devote resources to implement the plan and must assess the plan’s impact in the five years following its review by SACS in a follow-up report.

The QEP Team will submit its work in late 2010, and a SACS review committee will visit UGA in early 2011 to review the QEP.

“As this process begins, I hope the university community will join me in expressing gratitude to David Shipley and Rodney Mauricio for their commitment over the next two years to this important institutional effort,” Boehmer said.

Shipley came to UGA in 1998 as dean and professor of law. He has served on University Council since 2005, chairing several council committees during that time. He has been honored by the law school for furthering student-faculty relations and was selected by the third-year class to serve as honorary faculty marshal at graduation in May.

Mauricio came to UGA in 1998 as an assistant professor in genetics. He received the Richard B. Russell Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2005 and is currently a member of the Graduate Faculty. He has served on University Council since 2006 and also was a member of the Provost’s Task Force on General Education and Student Learning.