Loss of accreditation is a possibility in the event of strike.

By Gus Bode

As the possibility of a strike looms over the University, some department chairs and deans are concerned about losing accreditation if an extended strike forces selected classes to be canceled.

Chancellor Walter Wendler has promised all seniors in good academic standing in their last semester that they will graduate, no matter what happens in the event of a strike. This could require schedule and course readjustment on behalf of the academic unit.

If the University graduates seniors in accredited programs without those students fulfilling necessary requirements because of a prolonged faculty strike, the accrediting body can remove the programs’ accreditation.

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Determining whether the strike will be justification for an organization to allow students to graduate without necessary requirements is up to the inspection teams upon review of student records.

If the team notes that students were graduated without the proper requirements, that could result in a program losing its accreditation. Having to reapply for accreditation is not easy either; a program must go through a probationary period and pass further examination by the accreditation body.

The issue is one of many the University must ponder if there is a faculty strike.

“This is one of the issues the deans will discuss at the next deans meeting,” said Associate Provost Kyle Perkins, who refused further comment.

There are about 61 accredited and certified programs at SIUC, and the risk of losing accreditation can minimize the reputation of a University program. Accreditation brings to various programs the notoriety of nationally recognized universities and colleges. It can also aid in a school’s recruiting capabilities and national ranking.

Programs are accredited by a disciplinary basis. For instance, the school of journalism is accredited through the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Only 106 journalism programs in the United States are accredited – SIUC has one of them – as compared to 450 non-accredited journalism programs across the nation.

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Walter Jaehnig, chair of the Journalism Department, said that if the program were to graduate the 60 to 80 seniors who need journalism classes to finish in May without them fulfilling the necessary course requirements, the program could face a dire situation.

Faculty who prefer to teach at accredited universities could turn to other institutions and students could lose some internship and competition opportunities that would be offered to other accredited programs.

Dan Worrell, dean of the college of Business Administration refused to comment about the possibility of his school losing its status. The college of Business Administration is accredited in all of its programs by The Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business International.

The loss of the accreditation does not, however, affect every program on campus. The College of Science, for instance, is certified in chemistry and biochemistry. This accounts for only one-fifth of their programs.

Moustafa Ayad can be reached at [email protected]

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