MSCHE President’s Summer 2021 Update

Dr. Heather Perfetti, President, Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Dr. Heather Perfetti, President, Middle States Commission on Higher Education

I want to thank all of our constituents for your support throughout the course of the last year, which represented the first full year of my presidency with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It was my privilege to guide the work of the Commission through the challenges we all faced. However, I recognize that we cannot do this work without you in the best of circumstances during a normal year, and the pandemic meant we had to lean on all of you even more so to help us through such an extraordinary year.

Certainly, the work of accreditation would not be possible without the dedication of our peer evaluators, and I offer the following as a snapshot from this year.

  • We relied upon 485 peer evaluators to conduct evaluations covering substantive change, self-study, mid-point peer review, follow-up activities, and application and candidacy.
  • We are proud that 468 of our almost 530 institutions have at least one peer evaluator.
  • We processed 180 applications that resulted in 123 newly-approved peer evaluators, which included increases to our pool of much needed financial reviewers.

So many of you contributed to the breadth of our accreditation activities, whether those were undertaken virtually or in person, at a time when you faced increasing demands. Institutions undergoing evaluations also faced shifts in accreditation activities this year, but they continued to benefit from the work of peer review which ensures innovation, improvement, and educational quality across our membership. On behalf of the Commission, I thank you all.

Throughout the fall, we will continue nurturing opportunities to connect and engage with us. We will continue our Coffee with the Commission events with our Presidents; host webinars on diverse topics; provide enhanced training for evaluators and institutions; nurture state and system collaborations; add our voice to critical advocacy and outreach initiatives; conduct a final COVID-19 survey; and feature institutions through the Pillars of Change podcast to spotlight diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

And while we preferred to be face-to-face this year at our premier fall event, we will instead come together at our virtual MSCHE 2021 Annual Conference, New Horizons for Higher Education, scheduled for December 14-15, 2021, where we will celebrate your work and ours.

I do hope that you found the Commission supportive and responsive and, as always, welcome your feedback at We will continue to meet the challenges across the higher education landscape together, as we remain student-centered and dedicated to educational quality.


Heather F. Perfetti, J.D., Ed.D.