CHEA Board Member Catherine Wehlburg Named Athens State University’s 39th President

June 6, 2024


Athens State University Names Catherine Wehlburg its 39th President (The News Courier, May 23, 2024) The Athens State University Board of Trustees named Catherine M. Wehlburg, Ph.D., its 39th president. President Wehlburg, a member of the CHEA Board of Directors, is Athens State’s third woman to be named as a permanent president.

State Laws Threaten to Erode Academic Freedom in US Higher Education  (Ohio Capital Journal, May 31, 2024) The accreditation process involves colleges and universities regularly submitting to external peer review. Nonprofit accrediting agencies conduct institutional performance reviews. However, during the 2021-23 legislative cycles, six bills were introduced—three of them were passed into law—weakening the accreditation process and thereby making it easier for political interests to shape university policy.

Universities Try 3-year Degrees to Save Students Time, Money (Stateline, May 30, 2024) Indiana enacted a new law calling on all its public universities to study how they would implement a three-year bachelor’s degree program, if accreditors agree, to save students money and get them into the workforce more quickly. Similarly, the Utah System of Higher Education has tasked state universities with developing three-year programs under a new Bachelor of Applied Studies degree, which would need approval by accreditation boards.

Louisiana Legislature Increases Governor’s Power Over Boards (Louisiana Illuminator, May 30, 2024) Critics have raised concerns that giving the governor further power over the state’s five higher education boards could impact college and university accreditation, fundamental for a school's functioning that allows it to access federal funds. 

Community College Group Recommends Review of DEI Positions, Activities (Iowa Capital Dispatch, May 29, 2024) The Iowa State Association of Community Colleges has issued a crucial recommendation. They urge colleges to conduct a thorough review of their DEI practices, emphasizing the need for compliance with accreditation standards from both the state of Iowa and the Higher Learning Commission.