July 30, 2019
Project Update to University Community

We want to provide an update about the HLC progress that has happened this summer.  As most of you know, over the last (nearly) 2 years, several people have been meeting and working in teams across the BR and KCAD campuses to prepare for the upcoming HLC Assurance Argument submission (due 9-3-20) and HLC Peer Reviewer Visit (10-5-20 and 10-6-20).  Throughout this summer, the HLC Leadership Team has been meeting biweekly for a full day and for 2 hours on the opposite weeks focusing on making gap assignments, filling gaps, reading drafts, comments on drafts, and preparing for campus involvement in the fall and spring.  Beyond the Leadership Team, many others have been hard at work to continue to prepare for 2020 – here is an update of summer accomplishments: 

May: Criterion committee co-chairs began meeting with the editors, Sandy Balkema and Tina Arduini, to review their individual criterion draft in detail.  This process also included confirmation of the “gap” list to the HLC Leadership Team.  The “Gap” list is a detailed list of any pieces of evidence the criterion committees felt were missing to make the strongest argument that Ferris satisfies the identified criteria.  The Federal Compliance and Assumed Practices Committees also submitted their list of gaps. 

June: The editors submitted a first full draft of the entire document (with editors’ opinions of gaps) to the HLC Leadership Team. The HLC Leadership Team compared (1) gaps submitted by committees, (2) gaps identified by editors in draft 1, and (3) the first draft for the assurance argument.  The team also met over three full days with Tara McCrackin and Sandy Britton to ensure all KCAD perspectives were incorporated into the draft, and note any gaps.  Once these processes were completed, the HLC Leadership Team made over 130 gap assignments to members of the Steering Committee, with a due date of August 2, 2019.    

July: The editors have been working on the second draft of the assurance argument.  The goal of the second draft is to (1) fill in as many gaps as possible with info from KCAD and gap collection, (2) start to make the 5 separate documents one coherent document without duplicated references, and (3) begin to identify themes throughout the document.  Additionally, hundreds of evidence files have been appropriately pulled, labeled, given a coversheet, and logged into an Access database that catalogs various aspects of the evidence (e.g., file name, date of collection, web page if applicable, keywords, location within SharePoint, etc.)  The purpose of this database is to ensure that all evidence is easily located for 2020 and beyond.

August: On August 12, the HLC Steering Committee will be meeting for a day-long retreat at KCAD, in part to talk about any remaining gaps and to read draft 2 as a group.  The purpose of this read-through is to prepare it for roll out to the campus community in October-December, 2019 for feedback. 

We are very pleased with the amount of work accomplished over the summer and are grateful to the many members of our campus communities who continue to contribute to filling gaps, reviewing drafts and offering support to this process.  In the coming month, you will see a campus-wide update on HLC, and ongoing communications thereafter.  Please let us know if you have any questions!

Sincerely,
The HLC Leadership Team
Jeff Ek, Kristi Haik, Jennifer Hegenauer, Tara McCrackin, and Mandy Seiferlein