Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES—A team from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association has recommended that Eastern New Mexico University be re-accredited for the maximum 10 years.
At their exit meeting following their campus visit on March 12–14, they reviewed each of the accreditation criteria of mission, integrity, resources, student learning and effective teaching, and commuinty engagement and service, and concluded all had been successfully met. "The team confirmed that Eastern does indeed focus on student learning as its prime objective," said Dr. Steven Gamble, ENMU president. Only one follow-up report will be required, an academic assessment plan for the ENMU-Ruidoso branch (by July 2010). "This follow-up request is certainly one that the Ruidoso faculty and staff can easily address," said Gamble. "Overall, the team will recommend the maximum period of ten years before the next required accrediting visit, with no required focus visits in the interim."
The visit successfully concludes a yearlong process of extensive self-evaluation by ENMU required for re-accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
According to Gamble, preparing for accreditation fosters excellence and ongoing improvement for the University. "The accreditation covers every aspect of the institution—to improve the educational process for all students and to assure the institution's effectiveness in meeting those needs. As a campus community, we used the opportunity to make Eastern New Mexico University an even stronger institution."
Gamble noted that the entire campus community was involved in the self-study. Students critiqued their academic, extracurricular and residential life experiences. Faculty and staff prepared department and unit studies assessing their resources, processes and support of student learning. Alumni provided valuable insights about the University's effectiveness in meeting its mission, vision, and goals. Community members and University advisory groups provided information about University partnerships with area business and other civic organizations, and the ENMU Board of Regents reviewed the self-study in its entirety before its submission to the accrediting commission.
According to Gamble, the team was very complimentary about the community support in Portales and Ruidoso for the University's efforts. "They stated that they were met with courtesy, candor, and enthusiasm from every staff, student, and faculty member with whom they interacted," said Gamble. He noted that the HLC encouraged the University to consider a few small improvements-including adding a reference to associate degrees in ENMU's mission statement and crafting a technology plan that examines the cost benefits of videoconferencing over other delivery methods. "The great majority of the comments, however, were confirmations of Eastern's strengths," he said.
Gamble expressed his gratitude to "all who contributed to an honest and comprehensive self-study process and a very successful visit." He particularly recognized the work of self-study coordinator Dr. Linda Gies for her leadership of the process.
He concluded, "It is a proud day for Eastern New Mexico University."
The report is expected to become official in six to eight weeks.