UMass Amherst- German Higher Education Experts Visit the CampusOn Thursday, September 30, a delegation of fifteen representatives of the German Council of Science and Humanities and the German Rectors' Conference visited the Amherst campus. The group came to New England to learn more about higher-education accreditation in the United States. The program consisted of site visits to six public and private colleges and universities in Massachusetts and Connecticut. The German educators met with representatives from academia as well as from higher-education accrediting organizations.
The specific goals of the informational visit were to introduce the German educational experts to the process and implementation of external quality review and to the various types of accreditation practiced in the United States higher-education system. In view of the significant university reforms that are now taking place in Germany, the visitors examined national, regional, and specialized accreditation that shapes the U.S. higher education landscape. The week-long seminar focused on comparing quality control at U.S. and German universities as well as on identifying possible applications of the American accreditation process to the German system.
Chancellor Robert Holub formally welcomed the delegation to the Amherst campus and shared with the participants his views on and experience with the accreditation process. The delegation subsequently heard presentations from James Kurose, Executive Associate Dean of the College Natural Sciences, and Ernest May, Secretary of the Faculty Senate, on the role of the Amherst campus within the University of Massachusetts system; from Marilyn Blaustein, Director of the Office of Institutional Research, and Todd Diacon, Deputy Chancellor, on accreditation at the campus level; from Theodore Djaferis, Interim Dean of the College of Engineering, on professional accreditation in Engineering; and from John Mullin, Dean of the Graduate School, on the role of graduate education in the accreditation process. Frank Hugus, Vice Provost for International Programs, facilitated the discussion.