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Accrediting commission gives ND higher ed board favorable review

FARGO -- In response to a complaint filed last year, the Higher Learning Commission has issued a favorable review of the North Dakota Board of Higher Education, the board announced Tuesday.

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FNS Photo by Carrie Snyder North Dakota State Board of Higher Education chair Kirsten Diederich and interim Chancellor Larry Skogen talk about the results of the Higher Learning Commission Advisory Team Report at North Dakota State University’s Memorial Union on Tuesday in Fargo.

FARGO - In response to a complaint filed last year, the Higher Learning Commission has issued a favorable review of the North Dakota Board of Higher Education, the board announced Tuesday.
The HLC is a Chicago-based firm that accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the north-central United States.
The report looks at steps the board took between July 2013 and April 2014, when the HLC advisory team visit occurred. It commends the board for meeting three of four criteria: operating with ethical policies, retaining autonomy from the Legislature and promoting collaboration between leaders.
The criterion that was “met with concerns” is Criterion Five, Core Component 5.D, which requires “that an accredited institution work systematically to improve its performance by … learning from its operation,” according to the report.
The HLC advisory team cited concerns that the Board of Higher Education does not have a “reliable process whereby the North Dakota University System learns from its operational performance to make improvements” and has not produced a replacement to the 2009-12 strategic plan.
The team also noted the board’s lack of self-evaluation and evaluation of the university system. University presidents told the advisory team that they did not have “clear performance goals to pursue.”
The board is taking steps to address these concerns.
The board will review a 2015-20 strategic plan at its October meeting to clarify some confusion expressed in the HLC report, board Chairwoman Kirsten Diederich said Tuesday during a news conference at North Dakota State University.
Regarding evaluations, the board is working toward a self-evaluation, which would be the first in her four-year tenure, Diederich said.

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