Although UNC’s HLC self-study is prompted by external forces, it has value to UNC beyond the end result of maintaining accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. As President Norton noted in her charge to the UNC HLC Steering Committee, the self-study process also supports UNC’s ongoing work toward shaping the university to meet challenges of the 21st century.
UNC has recently developed a strategic framework that focuses on how we provide our students with a transformative education. In UNC’s distinctive role among Colorado’s public doctoral research universities, we are uniquely positioned to promote transformative education through the intersection of our academic programs, research and creative works, and community relationships. The self-study process provides UNC with an opportunity to gain insight into how we embrace, advance, and cultivate this distinctive role.
Addressing the HLC Criteria will allow us to evaluate the stability of our foundation and where we might need to shore it up. To help us anticipate and prepare to meet known and as-yet-unknown future challenges, President Norton has framed two additional self-study questions key to supporting our institutional goals:
- How does UNC’s distinctive role among Colorado’s public doctoral universities position the University to meet future challenges in an evolving higher education landscape?
- How does UNC create, nurture and use institutional processes and strategies in support of the University’s distinctive role? What are we doing to evaluate the effectiveness and the importance of these processes and strategies, given our current environment? What promising things are we doing, and how do we build on them as we leverage UNC’s distinctive role to meet future challenges? Where do we have opportunities for improvement, and what have we learned in the self-study process that will help us build our capacity to fulfill UNC’s distinctive role?