Accreditation Visit
Accreditation team in Oswego next week

A seven-member team representing the Middle States Association’s Commission on Higher Education will be in town from Sunday to Wednesday next week for a firsthand examination of SUNY Oswego and how it fulfills its mission.

The co-chairs of Oswego’s Middle States Steering Committee, Julie Pretzat and Elizabeth Dunne Schmitt, are lining up meetings for the visiting examiners and will share a schedule with the campus community this week.

Pretzat and Schmitt encouraged all members of the campus community to put out the welcome mat and help the Middle States visitors find their way around campus and understand Oswego’s particular programs and distinctions.

Middle States team

As announced in the fall, F. Javier Cevallos, president at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, is the chair of the team of external evaluators. He will look in particular at Oswego’s mission, goals, leadership and governance.

More recently named members of the team include:

* Gregory S. Blimling, vice president for student affairs at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He holds a doctorate in educational policy and leadership in higher education from Ohio State University and has more than 30 years of administrative experience at public universities. He was previously vice chancellor for student development at Appalachian State University and dean of students at Louisiana State University. He was national president of the American College Personnel Association and editor of the Journal of College Student Development. Blimling’s areas for review at Oswego include student support services, admissions and retention.

* Robert D’Augustine, now interim vice president for administration and finance at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where he was associate vice president for the past three years. He earned juris doctor and master’s of business administration degrees from Rutgers and was the chief planning and budget officer at Rowan University for five years. Before that, he was associate vice president for academic administration at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. D’Augustine is charged with reviewing Oswego’s institutional resources, planning, resource allocation and institutional renewal.

* Gerald Ray Miller, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Illinois and was a professor at College Park for 21 years, receiving the President’s Medal, the university’s highest honor. He chaired the University Senate and served as acting dean of undergraduate studies. Miller will examine Oswego’s educational offerings and integrity.

* Stanley M. Nyirenda, director of institutional research, assessment and evaluation at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He holds a doctorate in policy planning and evaluation from the University of Pittsburgh. He has worked previously at Davenport University and Western Michigan University as well as the University of Malawi in Blantyre, Malawi, where he was the college registrar. Nyirenda will be concerned especially with general education and assessment of student learning.

* David Prensky, associate professor and director of leadership programs for the public good at the College of New Jersey, where he previously served as director of the Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement and dean of the School of Business. He earned his doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago and worked for 10 years in the advertising and marketing industry. Prensky will look in particular at Oswego’s faculty and institutional assessment.

* Rick Ruth, vice president for information technologies and services at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, where he also served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. He received his doctorate in mathematics from Ohio University and started his career in higher education as assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at Shippensburg. Ruth’s sphere of review will include related educational activities and administration.

About accreditation

Accreditation ensures that a college is offering an education of sound quality that adheres to recognized standards as well as making the institution eligible for federal funding.

Every 10 years, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Higher Education re-accredits the college. Prominent in the re-accreditation process are the campus self-study and the external review. The entire re-accreditation process helps evaluate SUNY Oswego’s progress over the past 10 years and inform plans for the future.

More information about the 2012 re-accreditation effort, including the recently published self-study, is available online at

(Posted: Mar 26, 2012)