The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has named Dr. Elaine Ryan, President of the College of Southern Maryland, as chair of the team that will conduct the Commission's accreditation review of Genesee Community College during the 2006-2007 year, Dr. Ruth Andes, Assistant Dean of Assessment and Special Projects, reported to the Board of Trustees this evening. Dr. Ryan's preliminary visit will be October 16 - 17 this year, Dr. Andes said, and the entire accreditation team will visit in March 2007. During the March visit, team members will conduct interviews of faculty, staff, and students. Colleges complete a rigorous reaccreditation process once every ten years.

As part of the reaccreditation process, Genesee is required to complete a self-study of college operations, Dr. Andes said. The self-study is largely complete, and four college-wide task forces - on planning, resource allocation, institutional assessment, and assessment of student learning - have submitted pre-accreditation reports to Dr. Andes. These will be compiled into a formal self-study document that Dr. Ryan will review during the October visit.

The preliminary findings of the Middle States Team will be presented at the conclusion of the team's visit in March 2007, and the Middle States Commission formally grants reaccreditation in June 2007.

Reaccreditation is a time-consuming, but necessary, process, Dr. Andes explained to the Board of Trustees. "The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an independent organization that assesses the operations and programs of educational institutions, and helps to ensure that educational institutions in the mid-Atlantic states and the Caribbean meet important administrative and educational standards. The most significant part of the process is not the site visits or the interaction with the Middle States team. Rather, it's the analytical effort we at Genesee make to review and evaluate every facet of our college, and to identify our strengths."

In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:

•Approved a new facilities fee schedule. The primary change in the new schedule is the addition of fees paid by outside groups for use of facilities on weekends.

•Heard Vice President for Student Services George W. Walker report that the College had received 1,605 applications from prospective students interested in full-time study at Genesee this fall as of March 6, up 7.8% from the 1,489 applications received from prospective students exactly one year earlier. President Stuart Steiner told the Board that spring semester enrollment has increased 1.8%, from last year's 5,207 spring headcount to this year's 5,299. Dr. Steiner told the Board that if summer 2006 enrollment is equivalent to last year's summer enrollment, the College will meet or exceed budgeted enrollment targets for the current year.

•Heard President Stuart Steiner report that Eric L. Skowronski has joined the staff as Associate Dean at the Lakeville Campus Center. Dean Skowronski comes to Genesee after an 18-year career at Bryant & Stratton College, where he worked as a corporate trainer, business instructor, and professional skills center director. He holds a B.A. degree from SUNY College at Buffalo and a M.B.A. degree from Syracuse University.

•Heard Director of Development and External Affairs Richard Ensman report that 220 Genesee alumni attended the first-ever all-class reunion, held at the new Wolcott J. Humphrey III Student Union February 25. The reunion, built around the theme "Buffett Bash," featured tropical decorations, refreshments, and attire.