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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU formally notified of full reaccreditation

New Mexico State University has been formally notified that it meets the requirements for full reaccreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools for the next 10 years, NMSU President William B. Conroy said today.

"We are delighted with the findings. Not only have we been reaccredited for the maximum period possible, but the report concurs with our own self-study. We are a student-centered university with strong faculty and staff whose teaching, research and public service programs are of national quality despite our relatively low budgets," the president said.

NMSU was informed of the reaccreditation in a Nov. 4 letter from NCA. The formal notification concurs with an oral report made April 8, 1998, by the 12-member NCA review team at the end of its campus visit.

The review team, composed of administrators and faculty from other universities in the north central region who have experience in accreditation reviews, reported nine areas of particular strength and two areas of challenges.

"The areas of strength are so significant that they merit special note," said Judith A. Powell, review team chair and associate provost for academic affairs at the University of Wyoming.

Those strengths are:

-- students' perception of faculty as "inspirational mentors";

-- a student-centered environment in which students have significant input in university decisions;

-- status as Carnegie Level I research institution which is well established and part of institutional culture;

-- multicultural diversity and achievement of the student body;

-- campus physical environs conducive to learning and evidence of creative problem-solving;

-- well executed public service, especially through the Cooperative Extension Service;

-- institutional commitment to low-cost, accessible higher education;

-- especially high quality professional master's degree programs tailored to meet state needs;

Grants Branch Community College "exemplary" in preparing students for transfer to main campus.

One area noted as a challenge was the assessment of learning outcomes for general education courses. A progress report is due to NCA in April 2002.

"We are expanding our general education assessment committee, chaired by Vice President for Administration Juan Franco, to identify ways to strengthen assessment. We also have invited a national authority on academic assessment to give the January convocation keynote speech, to meet with administrators and to give faculty workshops, " Conroy said.

Another challenge is the relationship of the Dona Ana Branch Community College to the main campus. A follow-up report is due April 2001. A task force chaired by Franco already has been appointed to make recommendations for changes.