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The following message from President Capilouto was sent to all of campus on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. 

Dear Campus Community,

Every 10 years, our university must seek reaffirmation from the body that accredits us as an institution of higher learning — the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

That accreditation — or reaffirmation of our status — is important. In a sense, it’s a stamp of approval that signifies we are meeting the highest standards of excellence for academic rigor, ethical practices and sound and efficient administrative processes.

It also is a necessary component of our institution’s continued ability to receive federal grants and contracts, so central to our research efforts, and funds for financial aid that help make the cost of education more affordable and accessible for students and families.

SACSCOC reaffirmation is an important priority for the university. And we all — as a collective community — are ultimately part of the reaffirmation process that will take place over the next year, culminating next fall with an evaluation from accreditors.

One aspect of this reaffirmation process is preparing what is called a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

A QEP demonstrates to accreditors and others that we are focused — across our institution — on learning outcomes and creating an environment that supports student learning and success.

During our last accreditation process, our QEP resulted in Presentation U, an effort across the campus to support the development of the communication skills all our students will need to be successful here and in the world they will enter following graduation. From that planning process, among other things, a centralized tutoring center was established to assist students in the development of those skills.

Now, it’s time to think again about what we do across our curriculum and campus to support learning, learning outcomes and student success. You can read more about the elements of a QEP here.

Currently, based on some initial assessment, we have five different options for a QEP topic that are being considered. These options were identified based on input from multiple groups. We are asking you to review and give your thoughts focused on strengths and weaknesses. You can review these topics and provide feedback here. We ask that you provide feedback by December 3.

Moreover, the university is working to identify a team of individuals from the campus community with expertise in the selected topic who will spearhead efforts to engage with students, faculty and staff to draft a proposal for consideration and implementation.

All of these efforts — the development of a QEP and our reaffirmation process — will continue to be supported by the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (OSPIE). OSPIE is charged with monitoring and overseeing the implementation, evaluation and management of institutional effectiveness activities, institutional accreditation requirements and state and federal initiatives.

As I see it, reaffirmation by accreditors — part of a deep examination of what we do across our curriculum to support student learning and student success — is one more way that we can demonstrate what we are doing to advance our state.

Nothing is more important to the future of Kentucky than a more educated workforce — students, who graduate from here, prepared to lead lives of meaning and purpose, who will transform Kentucky into a place that is healthier, wealthier and wiser.

This is who we are. It is what we do.

We will continue to communicate throughout this important process about how you can be involved as we further assess our work as an institution in meeting our mission of advancing Kentucky.

Eli Capilouto President