Last week a distinguished visiting team headed by Vassar president Cappy Hill came to Wesleyan to provide an evaluation for the reaccreditation process under the aegis of NEASC – the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The committee looked at everything from the physical plant to the finances, from the curriculum to the cuisine. Well, they didn’t really evaluate the cooking…
They arrived having already read our Self-Study, developed over the past year by a large group of Wesleyan faculty, staff and students. In that study, which readers have found remarkable for its candor and clarity, we took note of areas in which we know we can improve our performance, as well as some of the areas of which we are most proud. Lots of work went into the Self-study, and I am grateful to all those who put their time and effort into helping us understand how we can become more effective.
One of the traits that stood out to the visiting team was an intense loyalty to the university’s mission and culture. They saw a genuine commitment to Wesleyan’s wellbeing, and a fervent desire among students, faculty and staff to see it thrive. I’ve said many times that Wesleyan stands for something vital and admirable in American higher education, and it was very gratifying to see our guests respond so positively to that.
The next step in the accreditation process is the official report from NEASC, and we will doubtless learn more there. The process of self-evaluation and striving to improve never stops, of course. Together, we will continue to build a sustainable institution noted for “talented faculty” and offering a “superb education” (I’m pleased to quote Cappy here). We will continue to energize the distinctive learning experience we offer and support bold and rigorous scholarship and teaching. Wes aims to provide a transformative education that never stops. Wes aims to shape the future through lifelong learning, through research, through artistic practice. Wes aims high.