The site visit by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (Mass DHE) team to conduct an assessment for the reestablishment of degree granting authority at Atlantic Union College was completed on October 2. The team took a tour of the campus and expressed appreciation for the hospitality and warm reception they received from the time they arrived on Sunday evening, September 30, all day Monday, and on Tuesday.
During the exit interview on October 2, there were several general and specific commendations. These included reception hospitality, responsiveness in providing information, and past faculty and students who demonstrated their skill and passion for teaching and learning. Specific commendation was given for the level of commitment and care that the staff and faculty took to manage the teach-out process of the students. Also cited was the leadership role of Lloyd Brown in the downsizing of the institution and managing the deferred maintenance of the campus.
The team shared the 10 standards of the Mass DHE with us in the exit interview, with several recommendations—all of which we believe to be “doables” and will be responded to as soon as the official report is received from the team. One of the standards pertaining to the library received no recommendations at all. The team was obviously impressed with both the appearance and organization of the library (thanks to all the staff and volunteers who worked vigorously and enthusiastically to prepare the library and other buildings for the visit).
We say thanks for all the hard work and tireless efforts of Gina Brown, Ph.D., administrative educational consultant, Lloyd Brown, the entire campus staff, former faculty, former students, some board of trustee members, and some AUC Strategic Planning Committee members—all of whom met with the visiting team.
The next steps include responding to the team’s report on each of the recommendations before it goes to the DHE board for final approval. We thank God for all your prayers and what appears to have been a very positive outcome for this initial step in the process. If all goes well, the approval process could be completed by January 2013.
Donald G. King, president of the Atlantic Union Conference, and chairman of the Atlantic Union College, Inc., Board of Trustees