THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

TO:

The Honorable the Members of the Board of Regents

FROM:

Johanna Duncan-Poitier

COMMITTEE:

Higher Education and Professional Practice

TITLE OF ITEM:

The Graduate College of Union University: Initial Accreditation by the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education

DATE OF SUBMISSION:

July 30, 2004

PROPOSED HANDLING:

Action

RATIONALE FOR ITEM:

The Graduate College of Union University has applied for institutional accreditation by the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goal 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY:

 

The Graduate College of Union University, Schenectady, seeks initial institutional accreditation by the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education, pursuant to the standards and procedures set forth in Subpart 4-1 of the Rules of the Board of Regents.  Founded in 2003, the Graduate College is a Regents-chartered independent college offering M.A.T., M.B.A., and M.S. programs formerly offered by Union College.

 

Following review of a self-study, a site visit team composed of four peer reviewers and a staff review coordinator visited the Graduate College in May 2004.  The purpose of the visit was to assess its compliance with the standards and requirements for institutional accreditation in Subpart 4-1.  The team drafted a report of its findings including a recommendation of accreditation for a period of ten years.  It made several recommendations to the institution; in its judgment, they did not rise to a level that required the imposition of conditions on accreditation.  The Department transmitted the draft report to the Graduate College for review and comment.

 

In its response, the Graduate College accepted all the teamís recommendations.  Upon receiving the response, the Department prepared a final report, including its preliminary recommendation for accreditation action, and transmitted it to the institution and to the Regents Advisory Council on Institutional Accreditation for consideration.  (The Regents Advisory Council is established in ß3.12(d) of the Rules of the Board of Regents.)  The Departmentís preliminary recommendation was to grant accreditation for a period ending in 2014.  A copy of the Summary of the Application for Accreditation and Preliminary Recommendation for Accreditation is attached to this item.  The teamís report is available for review.

 

The Advisory Council met on July 14, 2004.  It considered the Departmentís preliminary recommendation for accreditation action and the self-study and report underlying that recommendation, met with the chair of the peer review team and a representative of the Graduate College and, following discussion, agreed unanimously that The Graduate College of Union University is in compliance with the standards and requirements for institutional accreditation in Subpart 4-1.  It endorsed the Departmentís preliminary recommendation and voted to recommend that the Regents accredit the institution for a period ending in 2014, without condition.  The Graduate College did not appeal the Advisory Councilís recommendation.

 

Regents with a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, on this application are asked to recuse themselves from participating in the deliberation and decision.

 

Recommendation:  I join the Regents Advisory Council on Institutional Accreditation in recommending that the Regents take the following action:

 

VOTED, that the Board of Regents accredit The Graduate College of Union University, Schenectady, pursuant to Subpart 4-1 of the Rules of the Board of Regents, effective September 10, 2004, for a period beginning immediately and ending on September 9, 2014.


July 6, 2004

 

THE GRADUATE COLLEGE OF UNION UNIVERSITY

 

Summary of the Application for Accreditation and

Preliminary Recommendation for Accreditation

 

            The Graduate College of Union University, 807 Union Street, Schenectady, Schenectady County, has applied for institutional accreditation by the Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education.

 

Preliminary Recommendation for Accreditation Action:  Grant accreditation for a period ending in 2014.

 

Institutional Information:  The Regents chartered The Graduate College of Union University (GCUU) in July 2003 to offer the graduate programs formerly offered by Union College.  GCUU offers programs leading to the M.A.T., M.B.A., and M.S. degrees in the biological sciences, business, education, engineering, the health professions, and the physical sciences.  GCUU is one of several freestanding institutions affiliated with one another under the umbrella of Union University, a federation created in 1873.  The other members are Union College (1793), Albany Medical College (1839), Albany Law School (1851), Albany College of Pharmacy (1881), and the non-degree Dudley Observatory.  The President of Union College is the Universityís Chancellor, ex officio.  Each member institution has its own authority to award degrees, its own faculty and governing board, and its own programs of study.  Some of the members offer joint programs.

 

            In the fall of 2002, Union College had 359 full- and part-time graduate students.  The next fall, GCUU enrolled 190 full-time and 185 part-time students, for a total headcount enrollment of 375.  In its self-study, it projected headcount enrollment to grow to 605 in 2006-07.  In 2003-04, GCUU had 69 faculty members (excluding the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership); 15 were full time and 54 part time.  It projects the number of full-time faculty to grow to 20 by Fall 2006.

 

            GCUU held its first commencement on June 12, conferring 158 degrees.

 

Reason for Recommendation:  Following review of its self-study, a peer review team visited GCUU in May.  The teamís overall assessment was that GCUUís application for accreditation be granted without conditions.  The team made several recommendations to GCUU related to the standards for assessment of student achievement, curricula, faculty, resources, administration, support services, and admissions.  The teamís position was that these recommendations did not rise to a level that needed conditions imposed on GCUU and unanimously recommended accreditation without conditions.

 

The Department transmitted the draft report to GCUU for review and comment.  In its response, GCUU accepted all the teamís recommendations.  Based on the self-study and other pertinent material, the teamís report and GCUUís response, the Department makes the same recommendation as the peer review team.