Number 14, February 9, 2011

national advisory committee on institutional quality and integrity holds two-day meeting on higher education accreditation

The U.S. Department of Education’s (USDE) National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) held a two-day meeting on February 3-4, 2011 in Alexandria, Virginia to address “what is working (and not working) in the current system of recognition, accreditation, and student aid eligibility,” according to USDE’s Federal Register notice announcing the meeting.

NACIQI is the federal advisory body to the Secretary of Education that provides recommendations on the recognition of accrediting organizations. At the time of the Committee’s December, 2010 meeting (see item below), Secretary of Education Arne Duncan requested that NACIQI develop accreditation-related legislative recommendations in advance of the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (expected in 2013).

NACIQI members who attended the February meeting were Bruce Cole, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Revolution Center; Arthur E. Keiser, Chancellor of the Keiser Collegiate System; Wilfred M. McClay, SunTrust Bank Chair of Excellence in Humanities, University of Tennessee at Chatanooga; Anne D. Neal, President of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni; William Pepicello, Provost and President of the University of Phoenix; Susan D. Phillips, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at State University of New York at Albany; Arthur J. Rothkopf, President Emeritus of Lafayette College; Cameron C. Staples, member of the Connecticut House of Representatives; Jamienne S. Studley, President and CEO of Public Advocates, Inc.; and Larry N. Vanderhoef, former Chancellor, University of California, Davis.

The February meeting’s agenda included issues ranging from various perspectives on accreditation to proposed changes that might be considered to accreditation.

The lead-off panel at the meeting featured Eduardo Ochoa, USDE Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, Judith Eaton, President of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (read testimony) and Peter Ewell, Vice President of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.

newly constituted naciqi hold first recognition meeting

The newly constituted NACIQI met in Washington, DC on December 1-3, 2010. The Committee is made up of 18 members appointed by the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Secretary of Education. NACIQI had not met for the purpose of recognition reviews since 2008.

During the meeting, NACIQI reviewed compliance reports and considered petitions for initial recognition and renewal of recognition for a number of accrediting organizations. Final reports with recommendations by USDE staff to NACIQI are available on USDE’s Website.


Eduardo Ochoa, USDE Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, and Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina), newly appointed Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, addressed the CHEA 2011 Annual Conference, held January 24-26 in Washington, DC. The conference drew attendees from colleges and universities, accrediting organizations, government, higher education associations and the media, from the United States and 29 countries.

Congresswoman Foxx spoke at a special plenary session that opened the Annual Conference, addressing “Higher Education and Accreditation: The View from Capitol Hill.” This was her first speech to a higher education audience since being appointed to head the higher education subcommittee. Assistant Secretary Ochoa – who was confirmed as USDE Assistant Secretary in June 2010 – served as a plenary speaker, addressing “Higher Education and Accreditation: The View from the Obama Administration.” Their speeches at the Annual Conference were covered by The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.


The November 2010 elections brought a new Republican majority to the U.S. House of Representatives and new members to the U.S. Senate. The Republican House majority means that the leadership of House committees and subcommittees has changed.

Congressman John Kline (R-Minnesota) is now Chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee (formerly the Education and Labor Committee). George Miller (D-California) serves as the Committee’s Ranking Member. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) is the Chair of House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, with Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas) serving as the Subcommittee’s Ranking Member. There are now 22 Republicans and 17 Democrats on the Committee; a full list of Committee members, with their Subcommittee assignments, can be found on the Committee’s Website.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) will continue as Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, with Senator Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming) serving as Ranking Member. There are now 12 Democrat and 10 Republican Committee members, a number of them new to the Committee.


The Federal Update informs CHEA members and interested parties on federal policy developments related to self-regulation and peer review. Please direct any inquiries or comments to Jan Friis, CHEA Vice President for Government Affairs, at or at (202) 955-6126.

Copyright 2011, Council for Higher Education Accreditation. All rights reserved.