A Finding Aid for the North Central Accreditation Records 1939-2001

Collection Summary

Collection Title: North Central Accreditation Records

Creator: Ferris State University. Accreditation Committee.

Dates: 1939-2011

Abstract: In 1939, President Merle Ward initiated the first review visit by members of the North Central Association. It was not until 1959 that Ferris received full accreditation. Accreditation occurred at periodic intervals subsequently as a result of the review process or a change in academic focus. Records include site visit records, self study reports, supporting documentation and committee preparation for accreditation.

Language: English

Quantity: 10.5 cubic feet; 7 records center boxes

Identification: UA 4.6.1

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

When the North Central Association first visited Ferris Institute in 1939, the report emphasized that the school had a useful place among educational institutions in Michigan. In 1956, Ferris made its first formal application to be accredited by the association. It did not succeed. Weaknesses identified by site examiners included: too many programs, faculty organization, faculty working conditions, library resources, unity and a desire to see if the acquisition of the school by the state would improve its financial stability. Strengths included a new campus and serviceable programs.

Ferris Institute finally earned accreditation in 1959. They had redefined faculty roles and balanced their budgets. After Victor Spathelf became president in 1952, he had refocused the curricula and growth of the school on its college-level programs, rather than the college preparatory programs. New buildings were added to the physical plant following the 1950 fire. Ferris continued its contacts with the North Central Association. Visitors from the North Central Leadership Training Program were on campus in 1960 to assist faculty and administration in continuing progress toward the next comprehensive evaluation in 1968.

Evaluations of the university evolved with the requirements of the association. The process always included some form of an institutional self survey and a site visit. The 1955 institutional self study contained sections on educational programs, institutional resources, faculty conditions, student life and student achievement. By 1987, section titles included: mission and purpose, instructional programs, student services, faculty and professional staff, faculty development, research and scholarly activities, instructional support services, financial resources, physical facilities, community resources, institutional dynamics and institutional effectiveness. Reports grew more complex, and extensive surveys were required. A self study might predate the actual accreditation evaluation by a year.

Comprehensive evaluations of the university have taken place in 1968, 1978, 1987, and 1995. A partial evaluation took place in 1976 when the university started its' first professional program (Michigan College of Optometry). Another partial evaluation took place in 1983, for the first graduate degree of a Masters in Accountancy.

Scope and Content Note

Founder Woodbridge Ferris strongly believed in the value of Ferris Institute as a trade and preparatory school in its early years. However, by 1950, the Institute had begun to offer college level work, and wished for their student body to receive appropriate credit.

North Central Association, founded in 1895, was nationally recognized as the accrediting body for academic schools. Ferris had individual members in this organization dating back to the 1930s. The first formal application for accreditation as a college in 1956, spearheaded by President Victor Spathelf led to a rejection. When the institute reapplied in 1959, after formalizing procedures and staffing issues, they were successful. Series A contains material about the previous application, as well as the first successful application. Of particular interest is the Spathelf response to the 1956 rejection.

Materials are organized into series by year of accreditation approval. Within each series, files are arranged alphabetically. As the purpose of the accreditation varied, so too does the information available. For years such as the 1976 accreditation (when the first professional degree of optometry was added) and 1983 (first masters degree in accountancy), there is little available beyond the site visit and report. The information available also depends upon the organizational structure and committee chairs. In some years, chairs kept extensive survey analyses and responses (such as 1977), whereas in other years only the self-study may exist. Of particular interest is surveys such as those done by the Physical Plant committee which details conditions in individual buildings, and faculty surveys listing membership in professional associations and publications. Committees also kept a varying level of records- from roster lists to agendas, minutes and supporting documentation. In the records for 1987 are disk copies of unedited reports on 5 1/4 disks, run on a WordStar program and a separate box of computer run reports relating to the surveys.

Each series contains a copy of the site-visit report, and correspondence concerning schedules and arrangements for the visits. All series also contain a copy of the self study (also called the institutional self-study.) They also have the letter of notification announcing the accreditation and its time frame. In some instances, Ferris was not fully accredited for all 10 years. Follow up visits may have focused on a particular aspect of campus determined to be a weakness in the previous comprehensive evaluation.

Arrangement

The papers are divided into a nine series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The North Central Accreditation Records are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

Bryon Brophy Papers (UA 1.8)

Merle Ward Papers (UA 1.7)

Administrative Information

Citations

Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. North Central Accreditation Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

The North Central Association Accreditation Records received in several accessions from the Vice-President for Academic Affairs office between 1983 - September 2005. Additional materials were donated by the President's Office, Dacho Dachoff of Big Rapids (Mich.) in 1983, Larry Martin of Big Rapids (Mich.) in May 2002 and J.R. Schauble of Big Rapids (Mich.).

Processing Information

The North Central Accreditation Records were processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in January 2005. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A revised finding aid was created in January 2008. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Separated Materials

During processing, duplicate materials were discarded. There were no other materials placed in other collections.

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of primarily of paper based materials. For the 1987 evaluation, a 5.25 inch diskette has been created containing committee reports. For access to this disk, please contact the University Archivist.

Content Listing

Series 1. Accreditation Records. 1959.

Subjects include committee activities, institutional self study, records survey, reports from President Spathelf, and site visit information.

The records are arranged by subject.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 Application. 1955-1956.
1 2 Administrative reports. 1959.
1 3 Administrative committee. 1955.
1 4 Administrative subcommittee. Reports. 1958.
1 5 Administrative subcommittee. Survey of records and reports. 1958.
1 6 Chicago (Ill.) annual meeting trip. April 1959.
1 7 Committee assignments. 1958.
1 8 Committee chairman meeting. 1955.
1 9 Committee on Accreditation. 1953.
1 10 Correspondence. 1947-1952.
1 11 Evaluation committee. 1955.
1 12 Faculty studies and information committee. 1958.
1 13 Faculty subcommittee North Central Association manual. 1956.
1 14 Faculty survey committee. Correspondence. 1955.
1 15 Faculty survey committee. Reports. 1955.
1 16 Finance committee. 1955.
1 17 Institutional Self Study. Steering committee. 1955-1956.
1 18 Institutional Self Study. 1958.
1 19 Institutional Self Study. Evaluation forms. 1955.
1 20 Institutional Self Study. Faculty self survey report. 1955.
1 21 Institutional Self Study. Faculty self survey report. 1955. Copy 2.
1 22 Institutional Self Study. Faculty self survey report/supplement. 1955.
1 23 Institutional Self Study. Partial draft. 1958.
1 24 Instruction committee. 1955.
1 25 North Central Association. Comments on application. 1955.
1 26 North Central Association. Statement of policy. 1953.
1 27 Notification.
1 28 Physical Plant committee. 1955.
1 29 Purpose committee. 1956.
1 30 Research files. 1955.
1 31 Site visit. June 1939.
1 32 Site visit. January 1956.
1 33 Site visit. Correspondence; schedules. January 1959.
1 34 Spathelf, Victor. Report to North Central Association. April 1956.
1 35 Spathelf, Victor. Statement re: accreditation. September 1958.
1 36 Steering committee. Minutes. 1959.
1 37 Student personnel committee. 1955.

Series 2. Accreditation Records. 1968.

Subjects include institutional data and analyses, reports from President Spathelf, and site visit information.

The records are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder Contents
1 39 Correspondence. 1966-1969.
1 40 Faculty report. 1967.
1 41 Institutional Self Study Committee. 1964-1966.
1 42 Institutional Self Study. Basic Data. 1967-1968.
1 43 Institutional Self Study. Basic Data. 1967-1968. Copy 2.
1 44 Institutional Self Study. Institutional Profile. 1967-1968.
1 45 Music unit evaluation. 1967.
1 46 Notification. 1968.
1 47 Site visit. Report. 1968.
1 48 Special report to President Victor Spathelf. Self study report. 1967.

Series 3. Accreditation Records. 1976.

Subjects include an institutional self study, and site visit information.

The records are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder Contents
2 1 Correspondence; reports. 1976-1977.
2 2 Notification. 1977.
2 3 Self study. 1976.
2 4 Site visit. Correspondence; schedules. 1976.
2 5 Site visit. Report. October 1976.

Series 4. Accreditation Records. 1978.

Subjects include committee activities, institutional self study, survey responses and reports, and site visit information.

The records are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder Contents
2 6 Basic institutional data reports. 1978.
2 7 Board reports. 1977-1978.
2 8 Committee on the Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. 1975-1977.
2 9 Committee on the Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Policy Making. 1975-1977.
2 10a Committee on Institutional Goals and Planning. 1975-1977.
2 10b Committee on Learning and Library Resources. 1975-1977.
2 11a Decennial Self Study. 1977.
2 11b Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Report. 1977.
2 12 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. Administrative summary.
2 13 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. Administrative. A-L.
2 14 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. Administrative. M-Z.
2 15 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. Administrative. Comments.
2 16 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. Faculty summary.
2 17 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. School of Allied Health.
2 18 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. School of Business.
2 19 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. School of Education and Learning Resources.
2 20 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. School of General Education.
2 21 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. School of Optometry.
2 22 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. School of Pharmacy.
2 23 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. School of Technical and Applied Arts.
2 24 Dynamics of the Institution- Planning. Survey. Survey form.
2 25 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Report. 1977 .
2 26 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. Administrative. A-F.
2 27 Dynamics of the Institution - Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. Administrative. G-M.
2 28 Dynamics of the Institution - Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. Administrative. N-R.
2 29 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. Administrative. S-Z.
2 30 Dynamics of the Institution - Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. Faculty summary.
2 31 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. School of Allied Health.
2 32 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. School of Business.
2 33 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. School of Education and Learning Resources.
2 34 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. School of General Education.
2 35 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. School of Optometry.
2 36 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. School of Pharmacy.
2 37 Dynamics of the Institution - Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. School of Technical and Applied Arts.
2 38 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. Survey form.
2 39 Dynamics of the Institution- Governance, Administration and Decision Making. Survey. Unidentified faculty.
2 39b Education and Learning Resources Committee. 1976-1977.
2 39c Education and Learning Resources Committee. Report. 1977.
2 40 Executive Memorandum. 1977.
2 41 Evaluation of Progress in Relation to Institutional Goals and Purposes. Report. 1977.
2 42 Institutional Goals and Statement of Purpose. Report. 1977.
Box Folder Contents
3 1a Institutional Resources - Counseling and Advisement. Report. 1977.
3 1b Institutional Resources. Counseling. Survey. Administration.
3 2 Institutional Resources. Counseling. Survey. School of Allied Health.
3 3 Institutional Resources. Counseling. Survey. School of Business.
3 4 Institutional Resources. Counseling. Survey. School of Education and Learning Resources.
3 5 Institutional Resources. Counseling. Survey. School of General Education.
3 6 Institutional Resources. Counseling. Survey. School of Optometry.
3 7 Institutional Resources. Counseling. Survey. School of Pharmacy.
3 8 Institutional Resources. Counseling. Survey. School of Technical and Applied Arts.
3 9 Institutional Resources. Counseling. Survey. Survey form.
3 10 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Report. 1977.
3 11 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. Administrative. A-G.
3 12 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. Administrative. H-O.
3 13 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. Administrative. P-Z.
3 14 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. School of Allied Health.
3 15 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. School of Business.
3 16 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. School of Education and Learning Resources.
3 17 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. School of General Education. A-M.
3 18 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. School of General Education. N-Z.
3 19 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. School of Optometry.
3 20 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. School of Pharmacy.
3 21 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. School of Technical and Applied Arts. Folder 1.
3 22 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. School of Technical and Applied Arts. Folder 2.
3 23 Institutional Resources. Physical Facilities. Survey. Survey form.
3 24 Institutional Resources. Instructional Staff. Report. 1977.
3 25 Institutional Resources. Instructional Staff. Survey. Administration.
3 26 Institutional Resources. Instructional Staff. Survey. School of Allied Health.
3 27 Institutional Resources. Instructional Staff. Survey. School of Business.
3 28 Institutional Resources. Instructional Staff. Survey. School of Education and Learning Resources.
3 29 Institutional Resources. Instructional Staff. Survey. School of General Education.
3 30 Institutional Resources. Instructional Staff. Survey. School of Optometry.
3 31 Institutional Resources. Instructional Staff. Survey. School of Pharmacy.
3 32 Instructional Resources. Instructional Staff. Survey. School of Technical and Applied Arts.
3 33 Instructional Resources. Instructional Staff. Survey. Unidentified faculty.
3 34 Instructional Resources. Instructional Staff. Survey. Survey form.
Box Folder Contents
4 1 Library self study. Report. 1977.
4 2 Library self study. Position papers accompanying the report. 1977.
4 3 Library and other learning resources. Survey.
4 4 Notification. 1978.
4 5 Site visit. Correspondence; schedules. 1977-1978.
4 6 Site visit. Report. March 1978.
4 7 Student survey. Undated.

Series 5. Accreditation Records. 1983.

Subjects include notification and site visit information.

The records are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder Contents
4 8 Notification. 1983.
4 9 Site visit. Report. 1983.

Series 6. Accreditation Records. 1987.

Subjects include committee activities, institutional self study, organizational information, presentations, survey responses and reports, and site visit information.

The records are arranged alphabetically by subject

Box Folder Contents
4 10 Basic institutional data forms. 1986.
4 11 Budget. 1987.
4 12 Committee interest survey. 1985.
4 13 Committee lists. 1985.
4 14 Committee on Faculty. 1985-1986.
4 15 Committee on Faculty. Complete unedited report. 1986.
4 16 Committee on Faculty. Evaluation subcommittee. 1986.
4 17 Committee on Faculty. Faculty development subcommittee. Final report. 1986.
4 18 Committee on Faculty. Faculty/staff profile, recruitment and appointment subcommittee. Final report. 1986.
4 19 Committee on Faculty. Promotions subcommittee. Final report. 1986.
4 20 Committee on Faculty. Subcommittee on tenure, promotion and evaluation. Final report. 1986.
4 21 Committee on Faculty. Teaching, public service and professional development subcommittee. Final report. 1986.
4 22 Committee on Faculty. Teaching, public service and professional development subcommittee. Survey. Data summary. 1986.
4 23 Committee on Faculty. Teaching, public service and professional development subcommittee. Survey. Faculty folder 1.
4 24 Committee on Faculty. Teaching, public service and professional development subcommittee. Survey. Faculty folder 2.
4 25 Committee on Faculty. Teaching, public service and professional development subcommittee. Survey. Faculty folder 3..
4 26 Committee on Faculty. Teaching, public service and professional development subcommittee. Survey. Faculty folder 4.
4 27 Committee on Faculty. Tenure and evaluation committee. 1986.
4 28 Committee reports. 5.25 inch disk. 1986.
4 29 Committee study plans. December 1985.
4 30 Community resources committee. 1985-1986.
4 31 Community resources committee. Field experiences; advisory committee survey. 1986.
4 32 Community resources committee. Survey. Data summary.
4 33 Community resources committee. Survey. Faculty folder 1.
4 34 Community resources committee. Survey. Faculty folder 2.
4 35 Community resources committee. Survey. Faculty folder 3.
4 36 Community resources committee. Survey. Faculty folder 4.
4 37 Community resources committee. Survey. Faculty folder 5.
4 38 Community resources committee. Survey. Staff folder 1.
4 39 Community resources committee. Unedited report. 1986.
4 40 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. 1985-1986.
4 41 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Final report. 1986.
4 42 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Data summary.
4 43 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Faculty folder 1.
4 44 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Faculty folder 2.
Box Folder Contents
5 1 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Faculty folder 3.
5 2 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Faculty folder 4.
5 3 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Faculty folder 5.
5 4 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Faculty folder 6.
5 5 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Faculty folder 7.
5 6 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Faculty folder 8.
5 7 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Faculty folder 9.
5 8 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Faculty folder 10.
5 9 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Survey. Survey form.
5 10 Faculty research and scholarly activities committee. Unedited report. 1986.
5 11 Financial resources and operations study committee. 1985-1986.
5 12 Financial resources and operations study committee. Unedited report. 1986.
5 13 Informational requests. 1985-1986.
5 14 Institutional dynamics committee. 1985-1986.
5 15 Institutional dynamics committee. Subcommittee A. 1986.
5 16 Institutional dynamics committee. Subcommittee B. 1986.
5 17 Institutional dynamics committee. Subcommittee C. 1986.
5 18 Institutional dynamics committee. Subcommittee D. 1986.
5 19 Institutional dynamics committee. Subcommittee E. 1986.
5 20 Institutional dynamics committee. Subcommittee F. 1986.
5 21 Institutional dynamics committee. Survey. Data summary.
5 22 Institutional dynamics committee. Unedited report. 1986.
5 23 Instructional support committee. 1985-1986.
5 24 Instructional support committee. Audiovisual subcommittee. 1985-1986.
5 25 Instructional support committee. Bookstores subcommittee. 1985-1986.
5 26 Instructional support committee. Computer support subcommittee. 1985-1986.
5 27 Instructional support committee. Library subcommittee. 1985-1986.
5 28 Instructional support committee. Library subcommittee. Perception survey. Data summary. 1986.
5 29 Instructional support committee. Library subcommittee. Perception survey. 1986.
5 30 Instructional support committee. Testing services subcommittee 1985-1986.
5 31 Instructional support committee. Unedited report. 1986.
5 32 Mission and purposes committee. 1985-1986.
5 33 Mission and purposes committee. Final report. 1986.
5 34 North Central Association. Annual meeting. Chicago (Ill.) 1984.
5 35 North Central Association. Correspondence 1984-1986.
5 36 Physical facilities committee. 1985-1986.
5 37 Physical facilities committee. Survey. Data summary. 1986.
5 38 Physical facilities committee. Survey. Survey form.
5 39 Physical facilities committee. Unedited report. 1986.
5 40 Program of instruction committee. 1985-1986.
5 41 Self study. 1987. Copy 1.
5 42 Self study. 1987. Copy 2.
Box Folder Contents
6 1 Self study. Background information. Undated.
6 2 Self study. Bennett, Jack (chairman). Correspondence. 1985-1987.
6 3 Self study. Draft.
6 4 Self study. Draft.
6 5 Self study. Draft.
6 6 Self study. Draft.
6 7 Self study. Draft.
6 8 Self study. Original draft.
6 9 Self study. Draft. Chapter 16.
6 10 Self study. Draft. Appendices.
6 11 Self study. Editor's notes. 1986.
6 12 Self study. Executive committee 1985-1986.
6 13 Self study. Memos to editors and co-chairs. 1985-1986.
6 14 Self study. Prospectus and outlines. 1985-1986.
6 15 Self study. Prospectus. Overhead presentation. Undated.
6 16 Self study. Survey instruments. 1985-1986.
6 17 Site visit. Correspondence; schedules. 1986-1987.
6 18 Site visit. Report. March 1987.
6 19 Student and student services committee. 1985-1986.
6 20 Student and student services committee. Unedited report. 1986.
6 21 Study committees. 1985.
7 1 Cross tabulation reports on surveys. Undated.

Series 7. Accreditation Records. 1995.

Subjects include announcements, research files and the self study.

The records are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder Contents
7 22 Affiliation status review. 1995.
7 23 Announcements; memoranda. 1993-1997.
7 24 North Central Association. Annual meeting. Chicago (Ill.) 1993-1994.
7 25 Outcomes assessment. 1987-1993.
7 26 Self study. 1994.
7 27 Self study. Draft- part 1.
7 28 Self study. Draft- part 2.
7 29 Self study. Draft- part 3.
7 30 Self study. Executive summary and update. 1994.
7 31 Self study. Questionnaire. 1993.
7 32 Sitve visit. Report. 1995.
7 33 Student services subcommittee. 1992-1995.

Series 8. Accreditation Records. 1998.

Subjects include focus visit report and site visit information.

The records are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder Contents
6 34 Focus report. April 1998.
6 35 Site visit. Report. April 1998.

Series 9. Accreditation Records. 2001.

Subjects include a draft self study.

The records are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder Contents
6 36 Announcements; correspondence. 2001.
6 37 Progress report on Kendall College of Art and Design. January 2001.
6 38 Self study. December 2000. Copy 1.
7 2 Self study. December 2000. Copy 2.
7 3 Self study. Draft. 2000.

Series 10. Accreditation Records. 2011.

Subjects include a self study and reflections.

The records are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Box Folder Contents
7 4 Self Study. January 2011.
7 5 Reflections on Self Study. Spring 2011.