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  December 3, 2001

New England Accrediting Body Praises University

The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education last month accepted the University's interim accreditation report, praising the success of the UConn 2000 program, the University's efforts to increase fund raising, creation of the Tri-Campus Initiative, and other areas cited during a 1996 peer review as programs that should be strengthened.

"Indeed, the University's financial transformation, marked by the $1 billion UConn 2000 program and the sharp increases in private giving, growing the endowment from $50 million to $221 million between 1995 and 2000, have supported what the (UConn) report calls an 'unprecedented transformation' of the institution," says the commission in a letter to President Philip E. Austin.

"The interim report also documents the University's positive record in implementing the results of its plans, due in large part to both increased funding available and careful stewardship of resources, administered by a re-configured set of responsibilities for the institution's

top executive group. Overall, the institution demonstrates a sense of purposeful accomplishment and careful review leading to increased effectiveness," it continues.

Austin was gratified by the commission's characterization of UConn's effort.

"Members of the accrediting body clearly recognize the extraordinary changes occurring at our University, statewide," Austin said. "Since the accreditation team last visited us in 1996, we have moved forward at a rapid pace, and it is rewarding to have our progress receive external recognition. We have a challenging agenda for the future, but I believe, as does the commission, that we are well on our way and moving steadily in the right direction."

The commission is the regional accrediting body for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Accreditation indicates that a college or university exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality, and is attained through a peer review process. The next campus visit by a review team will be conducted in 2006.

Richard Veilleux

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