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Vol. XIII, no. 2

TCU Library Newsletter, Web Edition

November 2001

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Message from the University Librarian
by Bob Seal

Every ten years, institutions of higher education must have their accreditation re-affirmed by a regional accrediting body, in TCU’s case the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).  The re-accreditation process, last completed in 1992-93, began again early this year with the appointment of a steering committee to plan and carry out a campus wide self study, a two-year process which will culminate in a visit by an outside review team in February of 2003.  In addition to the Steering Committee, there are also five other committees of faculty, staff, and students which are examining all aspects of the institution including academic programs, finances, the physical facilities, faculty qualifications, library and computer resources, assessment, and much more.  Several library staff members serve on these committees, and I serve as Associate Director of the project.

 Last spring an action plan was written by the Steering Committee and submitted to SACS for its approval.  Over the summer, the Self-Study staff began collecting a variety of statistical data, reports, and other documents that will be used by the five committees; a library of this material was created in the Self-Study Office in Sadler Hall.  This fall the committees have been gathering additional information such as financial reports, faculty resumes, departmental mission statements and annual reports, assessment plans, etc.  In addition, questionnaires were created and sent to students, faculty, staff, and alumni to collect data on satisfaction with TCU’s programs and services as well as to gather opinions on policies, financial support, facilities, and so on.  The survey data is currently being collated and studied.  Draft reports are due from the Committees in the spring of 2002.

 The Educational Support Services Committee will be reviewing the Library.  Each committee will be checking to see if the University meets the large number of criteria that SACS has established as part of the reaffirmation process.  There are several criteria that apply to the Library including collections, support for faculty research, facilities, electronic access, and more.  When our visitors arrive in 2003, their team will include a library director from another school who will interview staff and tour the Library.

 The Self Study is not only about having one’s accreditation reaffirmed.  It is also about making the institution a better place.  The Self Study staff are committed to using the process to identify areas of strength to be further built up, areas of weakness that need attention, and new programs that could be developed for the benefit of the TCU community.

 My best wishes to all of you for a safe, happy holiday season.

Bob Seal, University Librarian

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