Accreditation Autonomy Resolution

Introduction

The most effective means for states to solve the problem of unaccountable higher education accrediting organizations imposing social justice requirements on their public university systems is to found their own accrediting organization. Several states should jointly found such an accrediting organization, which would focus on certifying financial good health, refrain from imposing burdensome bureaucracies and social justice requirements, and remain accountable to state governments. This accrediting organization should also welcome private institutions, but the state governments should retain control of this accreditor.

One state cannot simply found such an accreditor by passing a law on its own. Public universities depend upon the current accreditation system to allow them to qualify to receive federal student loans and grants—and thus an enormous portion of their revenue. State public university systems would gain immense intellectual freedom from a unilateral declaration of independence from the existing accreditors, but at a great financial cost. We judge that it is more practical for several states to undertake a deliberate process of preparing a replacement accreditor, and ensuring that it receives recognition from the federal government’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). These states should have their replacement accreditor in place, and ready to qualify the universities to receive federal student loans and grants, before they withdraw from their existing accreditors.

We provide here a model resolution to begin this process. When several states have passed this model resolution, their governments should then begin the practical steps to form their own regional accreditor. We would be glad to provide them counsel at that stage—but for the moment, we believe education reformers should concentrate on passing this model resolution.

Model Legislative Text

Be it resolved by the Legislature of {State}:

WHEREAS, our public institutions of higher education should focus their institutional mission and their resources on teaching students to think freely and to search for truth;

WHEREAS, the {Regional Higher Education Accreditor} has misused the system of accreditation to impose onerous and expensive bureaucratic burdens on {State}’s public institutions of higher education, which require an unnecessary bureaucracy that has redirected the resources of the public university from education toward their own expansion;

WHEREAS, the {Regional Higher Education Accreditor} has misused the system of accreditation to impose ideological litmus tests on {State}’s public institutions of higher education, and redirected the university’s institutional mission from the search for truth to political activism;

WHEREAS, the {Regional Higher Education Accreditor} has become an entrenched cartel hostile to liberty and unwilling to reform itself;

WHEREAS, the Legislature of {State} is responsible for ensuring that {State}’s public institutions of higher education should be free of politicization and administrative bloat:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of {State} desires the following reforms to our system of accreditation for higher education:

That this state should join with other likeminded states to form its own regional higher education accreditor.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

  1. That this regional higher education accreditor should apply for recognition by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI).
  2. That this regional higher education accreditor should focus primarily on verifying member institutions’ financial good health.
  3. That this regional higher education accreditor should impose no ideological mandates.
  4. That this regional higher education accreditor should impose no large bureaucracies either to manage the accreditation process or to fulfill its substantive recommendations.
  5. That this regional higher education accreditor shall make no substantive recommendation without considering whether the institution has the financial resources to carry it out.
  6. That this regional higher education accreditor should not override the policy preferences of state governments.
  7. That this regional higher education accreditor should be responsible to the member state governments.
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