LIMA — The Rhodes State College campus has been a busy place over the past few weeks as school officials get ready for Monday’s visit of the Higher Learning Commission.
At risk is the school’s accreditation, which is reviewed every 10 years. Another review will take place in four years, which will look at what progress has been made since the one coming Monday and Tuesday.
Board members heard from Dr. Debra McCurdy, president of Rhodes State, about the process — who told them “It’s been a trying last month” — as they get all of the information the commission is asking for prior to the visit.
McCurdy appreciates the work that’s gone into the process, saying many staffers “have been working seven days a week” in preparation for the visit.
The commission will have dozens of questions about the operations of Rhodes State as they decide whether to reaccredit the college. College officials should have an idea of how they’ve done before the reviewers leave. An official report should take about a month.
“It is always a big ordeal when we have site visits but it is to strengthen the college and to give us a sense of where we are and how well we’re doing. Having outside evaluators come in makes all of the difference so while there’s a lot of strain internally, it also serves to strengthen the operations of the institution,” said McCurdy.
At Tuesday’s board meeting Becky Burrell, vice president for institutional effectiveness/planning, went over the lengthy document called the “assurance argument” or a self-study, which, along with a federal compliance filing was reviewed by the board.
McCurdy will be leaving Rhodes State in early April, but no firm date has been announced for her departure. She will be taking the president’s job at Baltimore City Community College in Baltimore, Maryland.
“It’s been a good run here. It’s been a pleasure,” said McCurdy.
Her position as president has already been advertised and the board will be working on interviewing her replacement. So far the board has not reviewed any candidates.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.