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University of the Pacific earns prestigious reaccreditation

Jul 16, 2019

University of the Pacific this week received an eight-year reaccreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), one more year than its most recent reaccreditation in 2012. WSCUC, the regional agency that verifies colleges and universities are maintaining high quality standards, cited Pacific's academic excellence, educational innovation and financial sustainability in evaluating its overall quality.

Reaccreditation ensures a college or university maintains high educational standards and is committed to continually improving. It enables student access to federal financial aid such as grants and loans, ensures credits and degrees are transferable to other universities and considered credible by employers, and allows colleges and universities to apply for federal and private grants to support research and student services. It also supports colleges and universities in developing and sustaining effective academic programs.

"We are thrilled that the commission recognized the superior, student-centered learning experience that distinguishes Pacific," said Maria Pallavicini, Pacific's interim president. "They praised our core values and the hallmarks of a Pacific education, including student engagement with faculty and staff, applied learning, community service, and how well we prepare our students for the future."

In its action letter and report, WSCUC commended Pacific in several areas for:

  • Demonstrating a strong commitment to involving stakeholders in assessing teaching, standardizing program reviews and enhancing educational effectiveness.
  • Responding and adapting to changes in the higher education environment.
  • Developing student success initiatives that integrate multiple units and divisions.
  • Conducting a successful capital campaign to contribute to financial vitality and increase the endowment.
  • Intentionally increasing the diversity of the Board of Regents.

The commission also noted opportunities for improvement, including defining the structure and culture of shared governance that allows faculty to exercise effective academic leadership; establishing clear, effective communications within shared governance that are transparent, reliable and inclusive; enhancing financial reporting to aid decision making; implementing change at a pace that allows for planning, input and critical review according to shared governance principles; and continuing implementation of a diversity plan.

Pacific has been accredited since 1949 and was last reaccredited in 2012. The university began preparing for the most recent evaluation in fall 2016 with a report to the commission about its three campuses in Sacramento, San Francisco and Stockton. The reaccreditation commission visited each campus in the spring.

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