Fresno Pacific University has passed another milestone in its continuing accreditation by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
As part of the continuing accreditation process—which includes site visits, reports and other forms of follow-up—FPU received an “Action Letter” from WSCUC March 4, 2019, outlining areas in which the university has made progress as well as areas for further growth. “What they’re saying is, ‘Yes, you’ve made progress,’” said D. Gayle Copeland, Ph.D., provost/senior vice president for academic affairs. “This is reaffirmation we are on target.”
FPU was commended for:
- Efforts to create clear processes for hiring a diverse faculty and staff.
- Steps to improve communication through campus committees; establishing a board-adopted process for presidential selection; the practice of town hall meetings involving faculty, staff and administrators; and expanding information on the university intranet.
- Progress with stabilizing finances.
WSCUC recommended further work on:
- Continuing to articulate an approach to, and definition of, diversity as well as developing metrics to achieve diversity goals.
- Creating a clear, systematized process for decision-making within the university and defining purposes, roles and responsibilities of committees and their members.
- Creating clearer, multidimensional pathways for communication among upper administration and university staff, faculty and students.
The university has maintained accreditation since 1965, receiving a seven-year reaffirmation from WSCUC in July 2015. Accreditation is important because graduates of accredited colleges and universities are accepted into master’s and doctoral programs, and find that their degrees mean more in the professional world. Being accredited means FPU meets academic and other standards that signify high quality to other educational institutions, employers, potential students and supporters. WSCUC and other accrediting associations are made up of colleges and universities in a geographic region and each member is reviewed by its peers.
Next steps in accreditation include a report by an off-site team in fall 2021 and an accreditation visit in spring 2022.