Faculty and students remain hopeful about the university’s accreditation
By Christy Petillo
Although Kean University has been placed on probation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, students and faculty members remain both hopeful and positive that Kean has made the necessary changes in order to remain an accredited university, echoing statements from a Middle States Visiting Team that said Kean appears in compliance with the four standards.
“I don’t think there is a faculty member or administrator who is not concerned about the accreditation issue,” said journalism professor Gabriel Gluck. “This is something the university has to resolve, and soon. From just a public relations standpoint, no academic institution wants the kind of negative press that this issue continues to generate.”
Students remain convinced that Kean will do whatever it takes in order to comply with the Middle State Commission.
“I wasn’t really worried about losing accreditation,” said Jason Leavy, a junior communication/film major.
Kean has a student population of 15,939. With so many people enrolled at Kean, students found it hard to believe the university could possibly lose accreditation.
“I’d be very surprised if the university lost accreditation, because then the school will basically shutdown,” said Alex Wisniewski, a sophomore journalism major.
Kean was placed on probation due to a lack of evidence that the university was in compliance with four of its 14 Standards of Excellence. The four standards are: Standard 6, Academic Integrity, Standard 7, Institutional Assessment, Standard 12, General Education and Standard 14, Assessment of Student Learning.
Nevertheless, students and faculty members seem to support the university throughout this recent hardship and are confident that Kean will pull through and overcome this challenge.
“I am optimistic the university will address the problems raised by Middle States. There’s too much at stake not to,” said Gluck. “Just the other day, the Governor said he was being kept abreast of the situation by his staff. And while he made no indication his office will intercede, I don’t think anyone would want the situation to get to that point.”
Professors at Kean are confident in the university and its determination to fix this problem.
“Since we received the warning from the Middle States Commission, the entire campus community has put tremendous effort into fixing the problems,” said communication professor Wenli Yuan. “Even though there are areas where we can further improve, I have never questioned our university’s commitment to providing high quality education for our students. I am confident that we will survive this accreditation crisis.”
Due to this recent accreditation issue, a common concern among the Kean community is whether or not this has impacted the credibility of the university’s degrees.
“At this point, I don’t think it has,” said Gluck. “I don’t think anyone is teaching any differently this year than last year. The faculty is still looking to turn out the best prepared students possible.”