Sep 26, 2017

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

In the 2020-21 academic year, the University of Northern Iowa will participate in a ten-year comprehensive review from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in 19 states across the North Central region of the United States, including Iowa.

The key to a successful review is extensive planning and organization in the years prior to the visit. The rigorous self-study process will begin this fall with the establishment of the UNI HLC Steering Committee and Criterion subcommittees.

The structure of the planning team is illustrated in the organizational chart below:

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Co-chairs Kristin Moser, director of institutional research and effectiveness, and Scott Peters, associate professor of political science, will lead the HLC Steering Committee. Membership for the Steering Committee will be comprised of the co-chairs for each of the Criterion subcommittees.

The co-chairs for each of the committees are as follows:

  • Federal Compliance
    • Kent Johnson (Dean, Continuing Education) and Joyce Morrow (Interim University Registrar)
  • QIP Implementation
    • Julianne Gassman (Director of Community Engagement) and Nick Rafanello (Director of Residence Life)
  • Criterion One: Mission
    • Randy Pilkington (Exec Director BCS & Federal Relations) and Michael Walter (Faculty senate chair, Associate Professor, Biology)
  • Criterion Two: Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
    • John Vallentine (Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs) and Leslie Williams (Dean of Students)
  • Criterion Three: Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support
    • Patrick Pease (Associate Provost for Academic Affairs) and Jamie Butler Chidozie (Director, Center for Multicultural Education)
  • Criterion Four: Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
    • Deirdre Heistad (Director, Undergraduate Studies) and Kristin Woods (Director, Student Success and Retention)
  • Criterion Five: Resources, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness
    • ​Gaetane Jean Marie (Dean, College of Education) and Kelly Flege (Assistant VP & Treasurer, Finance & Operations)

If you are interested in volunteering to serve on one of the committees, please contact Kristin Moser at For more information regarding the criteria and components for accreditation, visit

This process is extremely important to the university, and your participation will be critical to our success in this effort. I appreciate your time and effort.


Mark A. Nook