Albany Plays Host to First Town Hall of 2019-20

MSCHE President Dr. Elizabeth H. Sibolski addresses attendees at the Albany Town Hall on Sept. 26, 2019.

MSCHE President Dr. Elizabeth H. Sibolski addresses attendees at the Albany Town Hall on Sept. 26, 2019.

Albany played host to the first of three Town Halls presented by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) on Sept. 26, 2019. The Town Hall followed a proven format that began with Commission staff hosting a breakfast for area presidents and provosts followed by an open Town Hall, which was attended by more than 140 attendees, and then a focused workshop.

The open Town Hall covered a number of topics by Commission staff presenters President Dr. Elizabeth Sibolski, President-Elect Dr. Heather Perfetti, Senior Vice President for Accreditation Relations, Dr. Christy Faison, Senior Vice President for Operations Dr. Andrea Lex, and Director for Communications & Public Relations Mr. Brian Kirschner.

Information relayed to attendees covered trends in the region and the national landscape, member specific topics such as the Annual Institutional Update and Mid-Point Peer Review, and updates on MSCHE policies and procedures, as well as opportunities for collaboration and engagement between membership and the Commission. In general, Town Halls allow the Commission to connect and hear directly from its members.

The Town Hall was particularly bittersweet in that it was the last time Dr. Sibolski, who announced her retirement for June 2020, would be in Albany for a Town Hall as president. However, the sessions provided an opportunity to discuss the seamless presidential transition to Dr. Perfetti when she assumes the presidency on July 1, 2020.

The afternoon workshop “From Assessment to Planning (and back): Demonstrating and Documenting the Use of Assessment Results,” was hosted by MSCHE Vice Presidents Dr. Idna Corbett and Dr. Kushnood Haq. The session presented strategies for using assessment results for long-range planning and resource allocation through the lens of Standards V (Educational Effectiveness Assessment) and VI (Planning, Resources and Institutional Improvement).

MSCHE will host future Town Halls in the spring in San Juan and Pittsburgh with dates still to be announced.