External Evaluation
College evaluator to meet with campus Nov. 3

The chair of the Middle States Association team of external evaluators who will review SUNY Oswego and judge its worthiness for reaccreditation will get a preview of the college when he visits campus next week.

F. Javier Cevallos, president at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, will visit SUNY Oswego Nov. 2 to 4 to meet with members of the campus community and to provide support and guidance for the college’s reaccreditation effort. The entire evaluation team will visit the college next April to conduct its review.

All faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend an open forum with Cevallos from 11:10 to 11:50 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in Room 114 of the Campus Center.

Cevallos has chaired evaluating teams reviewing other colleges and universities in the past for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Higher Education.

His visit next week offers “a chance to get insight into what an evaluation team looks for,” said Liz Dunne Schmitt, co-chair of the college’s Middle States Steering Committee and a member of the economics faculty.

“We can get an indication of what he values most and what pitfalls he sees in the evaluation process,” she said. “It’s also a chance for us to showcase the campus, and he can see the level of campus engagement in the accreditation process.”

For his visit, Schmitt and co-chair Julie Pretzat, associate dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts, are preparing an overview of the major findings from the college’s self-study, which has been the topic of recent campus forums.

Drafts of the self-study’s chapters and archived webcasts of the forums are available online.

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 reaccredits the college. Prominent in the reaccreditation process are the campus self-study and the external review. The entire reaccreditation process helps evaluate SUNY Oswego’s progress over the past 10 years and inform plans for the future.

About Cevallos

The chair of Oswego’s evaluation team is a worldly educator with wide experience.

A native of Ecuador, Cevallos earned his bachelor’s degree in 1976 at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana. He began his career in education in 1981 as an assistant professor of Spanish at the University of Maine at Orono.

In 1984, he moved to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he was promoted to full professor in 1992. In 1994, he was asked to serve as faculty adviser to the provost and, two years later, he served as an American Council on Education fellow at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

He went on to become vice chancellor for student affairs back at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, a position he held until he was appointed president of Kutztown in 2002. His wife, Josée Vachon, is a professional French Canadian folk singer.

(Posted: Oct 21, 2011)