Magazine article American Libraries

Accreditation Blamed for Library School Closing

Magazine article American Libraries

Accreditation Blamed for Library School Closing

Article excerpt

Citing "continued and unrealistic pressure from COA" (ALA's Committee on Accreditation) and financial constraints, Northern Illinois University has decided to phase out its Department of Library and Information Studies (DLIS). The decision and the reasons stated were obtained in a Mar. 12 letter from James E. Lankford, dean of the NIU College of Professional Studies, to Charles Bunge, chair of COA. A university press release issued Mar. 27 also cited "continuing pressure from a national accrediting group" as a reason for the decision.

According to the Northern Star, the NIU student newspaper, accreditation was contingent on NIU providing an additional faculty position, an additional secretary, and increased support for graduate students. NIU Provost Kendall Baker was quoted as saying that "financial situations" made these enhancements impossible.

Bunge's response to Lankford expressed sadness at the decision, and distress at the characterization that COA pressure was responsible, and pointed out COA suggestions about scaling down the program so that demands could more adequately match resources.

Bunge told AL that COA's policies of confidentiality made it difficult to defend the committee's position. …

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