On February 20, NMSU received word from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that the Institutional Actions Council of HLC continued the accreditation of NMSU with the next reaffirmation of accreditation in 2027-28. In so doing, the Council accepted the report of the HLC review team that visited NMSU in November and concluded in a 111-page document that NMSU met every criterion for accreditation with no concerns.
Needless to say, meeting the criteria for accreditation with no concerns is a big deal, and a testament to the enduring strength of this institution and its faculty and staff. I am grateful to everyone who played a role in the re-accreditation effort, which involved many individuals over the course of the past four years. We could not have received such a clean bill of health without your dedication and belief in the mission of this institution. There is not room in this column to properly thank all of you, but I will call out several individuals and groups who deserve special recognition.
First of all, a big thank you to Shelly Stovall, who took over our Accreditation Office three years ago and supervised the writing teams responsible for our Assurance Argument, wrote the final drafts of the Assurance Argument, worked with the Faculty Senate on policy changes necessary to bring the university into compliance with HLC expectations, and served as a wonderful ambassador for NMSU during the Review Team visit. Shelly’s good humor and calm during this process was a balm for all of us.
The Faculty Senate and its leadership, particularly Stuart Munson-McGee and Chris Brown, deserve recognition for their support of essential policy and procedure changes. Without their leadership and guidance, the university would not have been properly positioned for the Review Team visit.
The six writing teams began to meet three years ago to outline each section of the Assurance Argument and to identify the evidence that would be needed to demonstrate that NMSU met the various components of the five criteria for accreditation, as well as federal compliance expectations. I am grateful to the leaders of the teams for their good work and perseverance during this long process. Thank you Kevin Boberg, Luis Vazquez, David Smith, Kathy Brook, D’Anne Stuart, and Bernadette Montoya.
Finally, I want to thank the individuals who worked closely with Shelly Stovall in the last phase of preparation for the Review Team visit. Laura Grant, Nicole Waltermire, Jessica Greenamyer, Kristen Andrews, Adam Cavotta, Gabrielle Martinez, Samantha Rich, and Melody Munson-McGee put the finishing touches on the Assurance Argument and ensured that the needs and requests of the Review Team were promptly met.
In the end, the Review Team affirmed the good work of the faculty and staff of NMSU and emphatically recognized the transformational power of this institution. All of you deserve to take a bow.
With all best wishes,