The Higher Learning Commission has reaffirmed Indiana University Bloomington's accreditation following a review process that concluded in late 2017. The campus met or exceeded all criteria reviewed by the commission for accreditation.
The Higher Learning Commission reviewed IU Bloomington using five criteria:
- Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
- Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support
- Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
- Resources: Planning and Institutional Effectiveness
Within these criteria, the commission evaluated evidence supporting IU Bloomington's attention to diversity and the institution's role in a multicultural society; its commitment to the public good and freedom of expression; the pursuit of truth in teaching and learning; and student retention and persistence goals.
IU Bloomington faculty, staff and students participated in the reaccreditation process through discussions, gathering evidence, preparing reports, meeting with reviewers from the commission, submitting written comments and attending open forum sessions during the commission's campus visit Sept. 25 and 26.
"The accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission reflects our commitment to academic excellence in all disciplines and affirms our status as one of the nation's leading public universities," said provost and executive vice president Lauren Robel. "My thanks to the many faculty, students and staff members across campus whose hard work helped to make the accreditation process so smooth and successful. This was a truly campus-wide effort that brought out the very best in our community."
During the review, IU Bloomington reported about 550 academic programs; 200 undergraduate majors across 15 schools and one college; 25 thematic living-learning centers and communities; more than 300 overseas study programs; and more than 200 research centers and institutes. The faculty-student ratio at IU Bloomington is 17:1, and the average undergraduate class size is 35 students.
The campus team cited details about the Bicentennial Strategic Plan for IU Bloomington and its support of goals related to the commission's criteria, including student success, faculty, research, global university, health care, economic development, advancement, infrastructure, access to information and stewardship.
Since the last accreditation review in 2007, IU Bloomington has:
- Created the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Inclusion and Diversity and drafted a diversity mapping report and plans for nearly all schools and colleges on campus. The IU2U program now offers a one-day pre-orientation to incoming freshmen and their families in their home countries of China, India and South Korea.
- Received the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation in 2010 and recently launched the Center for Rural Engagement to serve the community-identified needs of southwest central Indiana.
- Improved academic advising with the Interactive Graduation Planning System, which offers degree mapping and other advising tools to help students achieve their goals on the best timeline for the student.
- Formed the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education in 2009 and underwent a general education revision in 2011-12 to identify and address essential academic skills that serve as a foundation for later academic work. The General Education Committee facilitates the implementation and assessment of the General Education Program. The Online Course Questionnaire, implemented campuswide in 2014, now collects student self-reported feedback about their courses.
- Created the Moving Forward 2.0 IU Online Implementation Plan to aligns online programs with best practices.
- Created a New Academic Directions Committee to strategically realign academic programs to address societal needs and academic priorities.
- Created the Learning Analytics Fellows program in 2015. Since its creation, 28 faculty have participated, using learning analytics to foster student engagement, retention and success at IU.
IU Bloomington is improving operational performance through President Michael A. McRobbie's Initiative to Reduce Administrative Barriers to Academic Excellence, HR 2020 and the Vision for the Ideal College Environment.
The campus has been accredited by the commission since 1913. The next review is scheduled to take place in 2027-28, which represents the maximum 10-year period between reviews that is available to institutions.
The Higher Learning Commission is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The commission accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which includes the state of Indiana.
Kyla Cox Deckard is senior director, strategic development and community engagement with the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.