WASHINGTON, DC—In a meeting today of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, NACIQI members Anne Neal and Arthur Rothkopf proposed an alternative proposal to the draft final report recommending the delinking of accreditors from their role as gatekeepers of federal dollars and the adoption of a system focused on financial stability and educational quality. “Far from being the generally ‘admirable’ system of quality assurance outlined in the draft final report, accreditation is a broken system,” wrote Neal and Rothkopf in the alternative proposal.
Four out of the 11 members participating supported the alternative proposal including Neal, Rothkopf, Chancellor Emeritus of the University of California-Davis Larry Vanderhoef and Vice Chancellor of Economic and Workforce Development at Alamo Colleges Federico Zaragoza.
In seconding the motion to approve the alternative proposal, Neal told the committee: “At the end of the day, the majority report kicks the can down the road one more time, without any clear resolution or recommendation. It is a perfect example of how the system is uniquely designed for and understood by insiders—or the so-called community as we heard time and time again. …It’s time we acknowledged that the accreditation system we need is not a community—but a system of quality assurance designed to protect students, the public, and taxpayers.”
In a 9-2 vote, NACIQI approved with minimal changes the draft final report which calls for further discussion and largely sidesteps any immediate reform. Neal and Rothkopf both opposed the draft final report.
Neal is president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which advocates for academic excellence and accreditation reform. Rothkopf is the president emeritus of Lafayette College and the former senior vice president and counselor to the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
NACIQI is a Congressionally-authorized committee of 18 individuals which advises the Secretary of Education on matters of higher education accreditation.