University reaccredited after 18-month process
After an 18-month process, the University has been reaccredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, per an April 29 email to the Brandeis community from University President Ron Liebowitz.
The reaccreditation process takes place once every 10 years. “This process gives institutions of higher education the opportunity to reflect deeply on every aspect of their organization, to prepare a comprehensive self-study, and to discuss the self-study with a visiting committee,” Liebowitz wrote in the email.
A letter from NECHE affirming the University’s reaccreditation, which Liebowitz attached to the email, commended its “forthright acknowledgement of the ‘challenges and opportunities’ it confronts and for the engagement of the campus community in discussion about how to best address those challenges and take advantage of those opportunities.”
In addition, the NECHE team wrote in the letter that they “appreciate[d]” the University’s efforts to attract and support a diverse student body while “continu[ing] to be a pre-eminent center of Jewish scholarship and teaching.” The letter also highlighted the University’s “high ethical and cultural values” and “‘signature focus’ on undergraduate education [and] graduate programs.”
NECHE noted that the University “faces several challenges with respect to its current budget, financial, and operational structure,” but acknowledged its efforts to “address these challenges through its strategic planning process, detailed financial analyses, and a ‘university-wide process of reflections on [its] academic activities and ambitions.’” The report mentioned the “Framework for the Future” taskforce and new Core general education curriculum as progress in improving the University’s effectiveness.
The University will need to submit an interim report in the fall of 2022 explaining its progress since its reaccreditation. Interim reports are normally submitted every five years, but the University delayed its reaccreditation process by two years. The process will be repeated in Fall 2026, “return[ing] the institution to its original evaluation cycle,” per NECHE’s letter.
In the email, Liebowitz thanked those involved in compiling the self-study. In addition, he thanked the NECHE team, which was led by Yale University President Peter Salovey. “This result is a testament to the institutional commitment and ongoing work of the entire community — staff, faculty, students, and alumni,” Liebowitz wrote.
“We should be proud of our reputation, and confident that the next decade will be an exciting period of growth and change for Brandeis,” he concluded.