Dear TU Faculty and Staff:
Towson University conducts a comprehensive self-study every eight years as part of
the regular institutional reaccreditation process conducted by our regional accrediting
body, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). MSCHE accreditation is separate and apart from the accreditation process each of our professional
schools and their associated programs undergo routinely. Our last comprehensive self-study
was completed in 2011, with a periodic review in 2016. Our next reaffirmation of accreditation
site visit is scheduled for spring 2021.
MSCHE accreditation is important for many reasons. First, MSCHE accreditation is needed for TU to receive federal funds to support our federal financial
aid, educational, and research undertakings. Reaffirmation of our accreditation also
confirms that TU is meeting the MSCHE standards of excellence in all we do as a public, comprehensive institution of higher
education. The efforts and products resulting from the activities associated with
the self-study process are beneficial to TU.
I want to thank our three co-chairs of the TU MSCHE Self-Study Steering Committee who will be leading us through this important undertaking:
Associate Provost for Academic Resources and Planning Dr. Gary Levy; Director of Accreditation
and Compliance Dr. Westley Forsythe; and Associate Professor and Director of Academic
Assessment Dr. Tab Uhrich.
Each Self-Study Steering Committee co-chair is beginning to reach out to TU staff,
faculty, and students to organize the several Working Groups that will assist in the
collection of information and drafting of the self-study.
Your assistance and participation are essential to Towson University’s successful
reaffirmation of accreditation. If you are contacted to participate on a Working Group,
I hope you will help out the Self-Study Steering Committee and TU. If you would like
to serve in this most important campus wide process please contact Associate Provost
Accordingly, members of the MSCHE Self-Study Steering Committee are charged with the following:
- Selecting the self-study design most appropriate for our institution.
- Designing an inclusive and transparent self-study process that actively and deliberately
seeks to engage members of the university community across campus.
- Producing a self-study report that demonstrates our compliance with the MSCHE accreditation standards, and provides forward-looking recommendations to move the
institution further along its quest for excellence.
An initial draft of the self-study report will be completed, and available for feedback
from the campus community, by fall 2020. Please know that comments and extensive
feedback on the report from across the university community will be sought throughout
the many months of writing the self-study as well. The entire process concludes with
a comprehensive on-site evaluation visit by the MSCHE Self-Study team at TU in spring 2021.
Completing a comprehensive self-study and hosting a comprehensive on-site evaluation
visit by the MSCHE Self-Study team are both demanding and rewarding efforts, and involves examining and
reflecting on TU’s strengths and challenges. I am certain TU will emerge from this
process even stronger and better positioned to fulfill its mission as a public, comprehensive
institution of higher education.
I thank all those who have contributed to the early foundational work required to
launch our MSCHE self-study, and I encourage each of you to seek ways to be engaged
in this most important process.
Kim Schatzel, Ph.D.