The University of New Mexico has been continuously accredited through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association since 1922. The Higher Learning Commission is one of six regional associations that provide accreditation for institutions of higher learning in the United States. HLC accreditation provides assurance to the public that an institution has been found to meet stated requirements and criteria. The accreditation process provides public certification of acceptable institutional quality and an opportunity for critical self-analysis, quality improvement, evaluation, and consultation from other higher education professionals. The HLC accreditation covers all of UNM’s campuses and programs. The institution’s last comprehensive accreditation review occurred in April 2009, resulting in a full 10 year reaffirmation of accreditation.
The Higher Learning Commission has recently revised the Criteria for Accreditation and is in the end stages of revising the accreditation process. The new process, called “Pathways,” will separate out the assurance process, which ensures that the institution meets all of the accreditation criteria, and the quality process, which encourages continuous improvement. The first milestone for UNM in the new process is to develop a proposal for a quality initiative project beginning in 2013-14. A report on the quality initiative will be due no later than 2017-2018. UNM’s next comprehensive review and site visit will occur in 2018-2019.
Nancy Middlebrook, Ph.D. is the University Accreditation Director at the University of New Mexico. She received her BBA, MBA, and Ph.D. in Consumer Economics from Texas Tech University. She has worked in higher education administration since 1995 and at UNM since 1998. She currently serves as the university’s Accreditation Liaison Officer with the Higher Learning Commission. She is responsible for the institutional accreditation activities and UNM’s Academic Program Review process. She works on many projects on behalf of the Provost’s Office and Institutional Analytics. In addition to her current responsibilities, she also works closely with IT on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) activities and serves as the functional lead for the Banner Operations Team and the Reporting Leadership Team.