MSU's accreditation reaffirmed by SACSCOC for another 10 years


Office of Public AffairsNews Bureau (662) 325-3442Contact: Sid SalterDecember 15, 2014

STARKVILLE, Miss.--The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has reaffirmed the accreditation for Mississippi State University for the next decade. MSU's reaffirmation came without recommendations for improvement from the commission.

The reaccreditation was announced at SACSCOC's annual meeting last week in Nashville, Tennessee.

SACSCOC is the recognized regional accrediting body in the 11 U.S. Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum, who in 2012 began serving a three-year term on the SACSCOC Executive Council, said he was "extremely pleased" with the reaffirmation and praised the university team that spearheaded the successful two-year SACSCOC review process.

The process included an extremely productive three-day site visit by a SACSCOC peer review committee to the MSU campus that was featured in an April story in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

"The committee was impressed during their visit to the MSU campus and that is reflected in its report," said Keenum. "Receiving reaffirmation with no recommendations for improvement is a very high honor for our university.

"I am proud of the outstanding efforts put forth by Dr. Tim Chamblee and his team and the work of our faculty and staff over a long review period. This is great news and speaks highly of the institution and its mission of advancing higher education in Mississippi as this state's flagship research university," he added.

As a member of the executive council of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees, Keenum recused himself from the vote on MSU's accreditation.

The Commission on Colleges' Board of Trustees is the representative body of the College Delegate Assembly and is charged with carrying out the accreditation process. The 13-member council is the executive arm of the Board of Trustees with primary responsibility for interpreting commission policy and procedure.

Chamblee, assistant vice president and director of the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at MSU, said: "The more than two-year SACSCOC review process is very important process because it allows us to demonstrate quality of the university's overall education program. It requires us to document and defend the fact that we are maintaining and operating this research university with the utmost quality and integrity."

The fact that MSU's accreditation was reaffirmed without recommendations "is a real tribute to the administration and leadership of the university, but also to the hundreds of individual faculty and staff members who are charged with implementing the daily operations of the university and interacting with our students," Chamblee said.

To gain or maintain accreditation with the SACSCOC, an institution must comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and with the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges. The Commission on Colleges applies the requirements of its principles to all applicant, candidate and member institutions, regardless of type of institution (public, private for-profit, private not-for-profit).

Developing a writing-focused culture at the university is the primary focus of MSU's "Maroon & Write" quality enhancement plan, or QEP. Writing-to-learn to improve freshman through senior learning, especially in courses not traditionally associated with writing, is the university's plan, critical to reaffirming MSU's accreditation with the SACSCOC.

"Maroon & Write" was developed with input from students, student organizations, faculty, staff, administrators and the community. Participating faculty employ writing-to-learn strategies as a vehicle to help students process and retain the information presented to them. Students in "Maroon & Write" courses write frequently, both for formal and informal assignments.

Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master's, specialist and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of MSU.

MSU is Mississippi's flagship research university, available online at,, and


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