Harrisburg Town Hall Concludes 2018-19 Series
Staff from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education hosted the final Town Hall of the season in Harrisburg, Pa., on March 26, 2019. As in previous Town Halls, the staff hosted a breakfast for presidents and provosts that was followed by a general session and a workshop geared towards Accreditation Liaison Officers. Approximately 120 individuals from member institutions were in attendance.
Senior Vice President for Legal Affairs and Chief of Staff Dr. Heather Perfetti, who was joined by Senior Vice President for Operations Dr. Andrea Lex and Senior Vice President for Accreditation Relations Dr. Christy Faison, provided an overview at the breakfast and Town Hall of accreditation topics impacting MSCHE members. In particular, she highlighted some of the topics being addressed at the Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking sessions where MSCHE President Dr. Elizabeth H. Sibolski was attending.
MSCHE staff have spent time at each Town Hall since the launch of the new database and website in August 2018, focusing on access to the member portal sections which are used to update key institutional contacts and to complete online submissions. Dr. Lex also used the opportunity at the breakfast and at the Town Hall podium to concentrate on the Annual Institutional Update which is opening in April and used to provide iterative data for the renewed accreditation cycle.
Since the initial cohort of 15 institutions who participated in the Mid-Point Peer Review (MPPR) came before the March 2019 Commission meeting, Dr. Faison took the opportunity to review how the entire renewed accreditation cycle flowed. Building on the AIU to the MPPR and finally to the self-study evaluation.
Dr. Perfetti ended the Town Hall by relaying how those in attendance could participate in the Commission’s peer review process, serve on the Commission, and advocate for the value of peer review at the state and federal levels. She also highlighted some of the recent changes to the Commission’s policy and procedure framework.
In the afternoon, Dr. Faison joined Executive Assistant to the Vice Presidents Ms. Diana Bonner and Vice President Dr. Sean McKitrick for the ALO workshop. The trio led an interactive session to provide ALOs the information and tools needed to be successful in working with the Commission.
Supporting the Town Hall on site were Executive Assistant to the President and Manager of Commission Relations Ms. Christina D’Argenio, Senior Director for Conferences & Educational Programs Mr. KJ Fitzpatrick, and Director for Communications and Public Relations Mr. Brian Kirschner.
The Commission will hold another series of Town Halls in fall 2019 through spring 2020 with dates and locations to be announced in the coming weeks.