The Middle States Commission on Higher Education recently voted to reaffirm Rutgers’ accreditation for the next nine years following visits from a team of peer evaluators who commended the university for its focus on affordability and accessibility.
The decision completes a multi-year examination of the progress that Rutgers has made since its last Middle States review in 2008, President Robert Barchi wrote in a letter to the university community. The next evaluation visit is scheduled for 2026-2027.
“As I noted in my prior communications on reaccreditation, access to federal and state funding, scholarships, grants, student loans, and research financing all hinge on the university’s accreditation, which is also critical to the public’s trust in the value of a Rutgers education,’’ Barchi said.
A nine-member team of peer evaluators visited Rutgers locations in February and March of 2018 and met with board members, faculty, students and administrators across the university.
Following the visits the team presented a written report that commended Rutgers for:
- Living a deeper mission than its focus on excellence in teaching, research and service. Their focus on affordability and accessibility across geography, and economic, ethnic, and racial differences is noteworthy.
- Transformational change with respect to planning, resources and institutional improvement through systems that support quantifiable metrics and deeper understanding of operational efficiency.
- Sustained commitment to demonstrating excellence in educational effectiveness and the examination of educational effectiveness.
- Accomplishing its merger with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in a thoughtful and effective manner.
Rutgers started preparing in the fall of 2015 for the culmination of the accreditation cycle with the Middle States Commission – a peer-based membership association dedicated to promoting standards of excellence and improvement in higher education.
More than 100 faculty, administrators, students and members of Rutgers’ governing boards conducted an intensive self-study of the university, soliciting input from the entire Rutgers community both online and through a series of campus forums and group presentations.
The final 109-page self-study report was compiled as a comprehensive reflection on Rutgers’ strengths and challenges, touching every aspect of the university – from academic programs, planning and governance to support for the student experience. The report included an executive summary and appendices, with links to over 1,000 documents and websites, which was presented to the Middle States Commission in February in preparation for the visits.
Barbara Lee, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs, and Ann Gould, a faculty member in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences’ Department of Plant Biology and immediate past chair of the Rutgers University Senate, led a 25-member self-study steering committee which finalized the report.
“Congratulations to everyone at Rutgers for achieving a well-deserved confirmation of the excellent work we are undertaking in educating tomorrow’s leaders and in preparing for the challenges and opportunities ahead,’’ Barchi wrote in his letter to the community.