FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges has renewed the University of Alaska Fairbanks' accreditation.
''We are very pleased with the report,'' said UAF Chancellor Marshall Lind. ''Through the process, we have learned a lot about our institution.''
The reaccreditation is the final step in a lengthy process that began more than two years ago.
As a condition of accreditation, the association's Commission on Colleges and Universities listed eight recommendations for the university, including six identified in the university's self-study report.
The commission said UAF has insufficient laboratory and office space for research and graduate programs.
The commission said UAF has a growing problem with salary compression and that some newly hired employees are paid more than longtime employees in comparable positions. The commission also noted that salaries are below market level in several disciplines.
The commission urged UAF to create handbooks for faculty and staff, store student records in a secure, fireproof location, integrate the College of Rural Alaska more fully into teaching, research and public service roles and revamp the appointment policy to consider recommendations from faculty, students and staff.
The commission also said the university should more clearly outline requirements for certificate programs and that all UAF programs should assess student learning with a test, a portfolio or perhaps a successfully completed internship.
Along with the recommendations, the commission commended the university for its efforts to catch up on deferred maintenance projects as well as its use of assessments in core courses. It also complimented the university's planning processes and collaboration between departments and disciplines, as well as between the research and academic functions.
Lind said the accreditation, in addition to being a valuable process, makes UAF credits transferable to other universities and allows students to receive financial aid.
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