2017 University Accreditation Report

Dear members of the campus community,

University of Puget Sound is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities on a seven-year cycle. As part of an effort to address how colleges can best provide evidence of assessment of student learning outcomes and mission fulfillment, we have been working as part of a collaborative “demonstration project” with Columbia Basin College, University of Montana, and University of Oregon. The demonstration project has allowed us to be candid about areas of strength and areas for continued work.

As part of the project the university has submitted its 2017 report, which includes a series of stories that demonstrate the robust commitment to continuous improvement that is deeply woven into the fabric of this campus. Available on the accreditation website, the report offers summaries and data about important work of the campus, including:

  • Educational goals
  • Writing across the curriculum
  • First-year seminars
  • Connections core
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Experiential learning

The report also provides a forthright assessment of our ongoing work to assess mission fulfillment through attention to:

  • Student persistence to graduation
  • Student achievement in general education and the cocurriculum, including apt expression, critical analysis, and rich knowledge of self and others
  • Student engagement in high-impact practices
  • Student progress toward a lifetime of engaged citizenship

Accreditation is an essential, but also demanding and time-intensive, project. Associate Dean and Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Martin Jackson, who also serves as Puget Sound’s accreditation liaison officer, has led the demonstration project for Puget Sound since fall 2014 with discernment, creativity, and patience; he also has led or supported the three teams mentioned below. Director of Institutional Research and Retention Ellen Peters has been a close partner, contributing not only strong data but important nuance and narrative to the demonstration project.

Other key contributors include:

  • Academic deans Kate Cohn, Lisa Ferrari, and Sunil Kukreja, along with Academic Vice President Kris Bartanen;
  • the Faculty Senate’s ad hoc Committee on Educational Goals (Bill Beardsley, philosophy/Faculty Senate; Robin Jacobson, politics and government/Faculty Senate; Alan Krause, business and leadership/Curriculum Committee; and Brad Reich, business and leadership/Student Life Committee);
  • the Accreditation Review Committee (Debbie Chee, associate dean of students and director of residence life; Kyle Chong ’17; Sue Hannaford, biology; Anne James, occupational therapy; Lori Seager, associate vice president for finance; and Sarah Stall, associate editorial director); and
  • academic and administrative leaders across the campus who engage in annual assessment, program reviews, curricular reviews, and strategic planning. 

I extend my deepest appreciation to these colleagues for their tireless—and likely tiring!—work to create this report that is so central to the fulfillment of our mission and the accreditation process. This work, truly, is a campuswide effort.

What’s next? Two peer evaluators—the provosts of Lewis & Clark College, Jane Atkinson, and Rocky Mountain College, Stephen Germic—will visit campus April 18–19 to review documents and meet with members of the campus community about our educational work. A specific schedule will follow closer to those dates, with additional information on the accreditation process and opportunities for your participation.

Thank you for taking time to review the report, and for the important role you play in helping Puget Sound live its mission and values in service to our students.


Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D. | President