Middle States Institutional Self-Study 2021

Towson University is engaged in a comprehensive, institutional self-study. This is an opportunity to reflect on institutional successes and to identify strategies for continued improvement. The culmination of this self-study process results in reaffirmation of the institution’s accreditation. 

Stephen's Hall

Towson University is preparing for its reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission
on Higher Education. The purpose of the self-study process is to clarify the institution’s mission and objectives, to demonstrate that the institution meets the accreditation standards, and to identify ways in which the educational effectiveness of the institution can be strengthened.

The Self-Study Steering Committee will provide regular reports on the self-study via this page and other communications. This two year review will conclude with the production of a self-study in fall 2020 and a Middle States Commission on Higher Education evaluation team visit and report in spring 2021.

Towson University, following a standards-based approach, will address the following priorities:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Student Success
  • Institutional Equity and Diversity


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 Gary Levy.

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.

Self-Study Timeline 

View the Self-Study 2021 Timeline (PDF)

November 2018 Attend Self-Study Institute 
February 2019 Selection of Steering Committee members
March 2019
Kick-off meeting of the Steering Committee 
Assemble working groups 
April 2019 Creation of Self-Study design
August 2019 Working groups begin analyses 
September 2019 Campus visit by Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) liaison 
November 2019 Progress updates from each working group
February 2020 First drafts of working group reports due 
April 2020 Second drafts of working group reports due
May - September 2020 Co-chairs compose first complete draft of Self-Study
October 2020 Review and discussion of first complete draft
November 2020 MSCHE evaluation team chair visits campus 
Self-Study available to the TU community for comments
December 2020  Submission of “verification of compliance” report
January 2021 Final institutional approval of Self-Study 
February - March 2021 Final draft of Self-Study sent to MSCHE
March - April 2021 MSCHE evaluation team site visit 
June 2021 MSCHE meets to determine accreditation action