Communication Plan for the Self-Study

Institutional accreditation is important to the entire University community and efforts to inform University faculty, students, and staff about the process we are following and its associated activities and Reports is a critical part of the process. With such a large and dispersed University community, it is crucial to put in place a comprehensive communication plan so that all members of the community are aware that the accreditation review process is underway and understand the components of that review and the Standards with which we must demonstrate compliance. The goals of the communication plan are to both disseminate information and solicit feedback. We want our Self-Study review to be both transparent and inclusive. We also want to ensure cooperation from the broader community as we assemble documents, data, policies, procedures and other information to inform our analyses. In addition, we want members of the community to understand the linkages between the Self-Study review and our ongoing strategic planning processes, and encourage them to think about the review process as not just a mandatory exercise, but as an opportunity to examine and assess our ongoing institutional progress and to identify opportunities and challenges associated with our institutional goals and priorities.

While aspects of the communication plan will develop further over time, the plan currently includes the following activities: 

January 2016

University bodies are informed about the 2018 Middle States Commission on Higher Education visit and briefed on the new Standards and the requirement to conduct a comprehensive review (groups briefed included the Chancellors, the President’s Cabinet, Administrative Council, and the New Brunswick Deans Council)

September 2016

General communication to the University community informing them of the 2018 MSCHE accreditation visit and describing the process of review

Fall 2016–
Spring 2017

University leadership periodically updated on the Self-Study review process by Steering Committee Co-Chair (SVPAA)

Fall 2016–
Spring 2017

Board of Governors and Board of Trustees periodically updated on the Self-Study review process by Steering Committee Co-Chair (SVPAA)

Fall 2016

Steering Committee Co-Chairs and/or Provosts brief the University Senate, Faculty Advisory bodies at each location/division, and other leadership groups about the accreditation process in general and the specifics of our review process

Fall 2016

Student members of the Steering Committee and Student Affairs administrators will advise about outreach to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as student leadership groups; in-person and electronic communications will be considered, including the use of social media

Fall 2016

Steering Committee identifies Rutgers publications, electronic newsletters, and other communication outlets where written updates about the Self-Study process and reports could appear 

Fall 2016

The Steering Committee develops a distribution and feedback plan for seeking input from the university leadership and broader community on Working Group reports and Self-Study draft reports 

October 2016

Rutgers MSCHE Self-Study website created; will be accessible to all Rutgers community members

September 2017

Formal feedback on the Self-Study draft solicited from all members of the University community; avenues for both electronically-submitted comments and in-person town halls or other meetings will be provided

–October 2017

Self-Study draft shared with University leadership and Board of Governors and feedback solicited

Fall 2017

Subsequent drafts of the Self-Study shared with Rutgers community members, posted on Rutgers Self-Study website

Spring 2018

Community will be informed about the Evaluation Team visit and given information about their role in the process

Fall 2018

Outcomes of the Evaluation Team visit and the Middle States Commission meeting will be communicated to the University community