The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has reaffirmed its accreditation of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for another 10 years.
This reaccreditation is without any adverse findings or recommendations. Thus, UTHSC does not have any individual interim reporting requirements until the next full reaccreditation in 10 years.
SACSCOC is the accrediting body for universities and colleges in the Southern United States. UTHSC has many professional college, training program, and site accreditations, however, the master accreditation upon which all others depend is this university accreditation.
SACSCOC evaluates institutions for compliance on more than 100 quality standards, including academic programs, student success, financial resources, physical facilities, faculty accomplishments, student support services, policy and procedures, and more. UTHSC was found in compliance with all standards with no areas needing additional monitoring.
“This accreditation is a comprehensive look at the institution and how it operates,” said Allen Dupont, PhD, director of Institutional Effectiveness for UTHSC and the SACSCOC accreditation liaison for the university.
“It was a team effort,” he said. The university across all its programs began to write the narrative and compile documentation for the accreditation process in 2018. The process was virtual because of the pandemic and was delayed by a year. “Our compliance certification was over 300 pages and our supporting documentation ran over 1,500 pages,” Dr. Dupont said. “Everyone helped out with the writing of the compliance documentation.”
“The accreditation process was led by AFSA (the Office of Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs), notably Drs. Lori Gonzalez, MaryAnn Clark, Allen Dupont, and Charles Snyder,” said Cynthia Russell, PhD, RN, vice chancellor of Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs at UTHSC. Dr. Gonzalez formerly was the vice chancellor of Academic, Faculty, and Student Affairs, Dr. Clark is the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, and Dr. Snyder is the assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Community Engagement.
“A sincere thank you to our faculty, staff, and students for their work that ultimately led to this outstanding achievement,” Dr. Russell said. UTHSC Chancellor Steve Schwab, MD, echoed these comments. “This effort to give UTHSC a spotless full-term university master accreditation was a team effort that was very well done.”
Though accreditation is voluntary, federal student financial aid funds are tied to an institution’s accreditation status, as are individual college accreditations. UTHSC has been accredited by SACSCOC since 1972.
“The fact that we were reaffirmed with no further monitoring or action required shows that the entire campus is in compliance,” Dr. Dupont said. “It really is a reflection of the entire university and the leadership.”