On February 20-23rd, a team of reviewers from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education will visit campus as part of Barnard’s decennial re-accreditation process, which has been underway since Fall 2008 and will conclude this spring. Middle States is the regional accrediting body that establishes the standards for all institutions of higher education in our area.

Every ten years, all degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States are required to undergo this rigorous review process. Preparing for re-accreditation is a lengthy and complex process, requiring input and participation from all corners of the College. 

For the last two-and-a-half years, Professor of Biological Sciences Paul E. Hertz and Associate Provost Hilary L. Link have served as co-chairs of the Steering Committee, which included faculty, staff, students and Trustees.  Under their guidance, a total of five Working Groups spent the 2009-2010 academic year examining all aspects of Barnard in relation to the 14 Standards of Excellence set forth by Middle States.

During the Summer 2010 that followed, the Steering Committee drafted a Self-Study Report that brought together the work of the various Working Groups. In Fall 2010, the entire Barnard community was invited to participate in discussions and provide feedback on the drafted report. The final version can be found on eBear under the Community tab.

The Middle States visiting team is made up of peers from a number of colleges in our region. While on campus, they will be meeting with a wide variety of committees and groups of faculty, students and staff.

Additionally, all members of the Barnard community are invited to participate in this important process.  There will be open forums for all faculty (4-5 p.m. on 2/21 in Sulzberger Parlor), students (5-6 p.m. on 2/21 in the Event Oval), and staff (3-4 p.m. on 2/22 in the James Room).



President Elaine Hansen, Bates College

Elaine Tuttle Hansen became president of Bates College on July 1, 2002. Prior to that, she served as provost at Haverford College.  She has taught a wide variety of courses in Middle English literature and in contemporary women's writing and feminist theory, as well as introductory linguistics and first-year writing seminars. Before being named provost at Haverford, she served as chair of the English department and as coordinator of the Haverford/Bryn Mawr concentration in feminist and gender studies. She was also awarded the Lindbach Teaching Prize. Before coming to Haverford in 1980, she was an associate editor of the Middle English Dictionary at the University of Michigan and taught at Hamilton College. Hansen earned her AB in English at Mount Holyoke College, her MA at the University of Minnesota, and her PhD at the University of Washington.


Barbara Geller, Professor of Religion at Wellesley College

Barbara Geller started teaching in the religion department at Wellesley in 1986, and became associate professor in 1990 and professor in 1999. At Wellesley, Geller has also served as chair of the department, acting director of the program in Jewish studies, and acting director, Program in Middle Eastern studies. Previously, Geller taught at both Clark University and the University of Virginia, and was a visiting adjunct associate professor at Brown University and a faculty fellow at Harvard University. Geller earned her BA in religious studies at Princeton University, and her MA and PhD at Duke University. Geller will participate in meetings addressing Middle States' Primary Standard 10 and Secondary Standards 11, 12, 13 and 14.


Kathleen Harring, Associate Dean of the College for Assessment at Muhlenberg College

After many years as a full time professor in Muhlenberg’s psychology department, Harring is now turning her attention to her role as associate dean for institutional assessment.  She continues to teach one or two courses in the psychology department each year, including statistics and health psychology. Harring also served as chair of the psychology department and co-director of the Faculty Center for Teaching. Additionally, she was the co-chair of Muhlenberg’s own Self-Study in 2006, and a member of the Steering Committee for the 1996 Self-Study. Harring earned her BA in social psychology at Franklin and Marshall College; and her MS and PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Harring will participate in meetings addressing Middle States' Primary Standards 2, 3 7, 11, 12, 13 and 14 and Secondary Standards 8 and 9.


John Nicholas, Vice President for Administration at Beloit College 

John Nicolas currently serves as the vice president for administration at Beloit College. Prior to this position, Nicolas was the vice president for finance at Thomas More College (1988-1994), treasurer at Trinity College (1985-1988), president of Videospeak, Inc. (1983-1085), assistant vice president at U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation (1980-1983), and assistant vice president at New York University (1969-1980). He earned his BS in accounting and his MBA in management from New York University. Nicholas will participate in meetings addressing Middle States' Primary Standards 2, 3, and 7 and Secondary Standards 4, 5, and 6.


Jerome Samuel Rackoff, Assistant Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research at Bucknell University

Dr. Jerome Samuel Rackoff has served as the Assistant Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research at Bucknell University since 2006. At Bucknell since 1975, Rackoff has also held the titles of associate vice president for university relations; associate director of development; foundation, corporation and government relations officer; and visiting assistant professor of Biology. He also served as co-chair for Bucknell’s own Self-Study in 2003. Rackoff earned his BS at CUNY/Brooklyn College; and his MPhil and PhD at Yale University in evolutional biology.  Rackoff will participate in Middle States' Primary Standards 4, 5, and 6 and Secondary Standards 2, 3, and 7.


Julie Ramsey, Vice President for College Life & Dean of Students at Gettysburg College

Julie Ramsey has served as the Vice President for College Life & Dean of Students since 1991. Prior to her present position, she served as executive assistant to the president of Gettysburg for 10 years, and to the director of the Federal Resource Advisory Service at the Association of American Colleges. Ramsey has served on two Gettysburg Self-Study teams and four Middle States evaluation teams. She earned her BA in history at Denison University, her MS in organizational development at Johns Hopkins University, and her EdD in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Ramsey will participate in meetings addressing Middle States' Primary Standards 8 and 9 and Secondary Standard 1.


Pamela Snelson, College Librarian at Franklin and Marshall College

Pamela Snelson’smain responsibility as college librarian at Franklin and Marshall is to ensure that F&M faculty and students have the information resources needed for teaching, learning and research. Dr. Snelson previously served as the assistant director for automation and public services at Drew University. She is also the past president of the Association of College and Research Libraries, and a member of the Online Computer Library Center’s (OCLC) Members Council. Snelson earned her BA in anthropology and political science, and MA in political science at Drew University. She received an MLS in library science and a PhD in communication information and library studies from Rutgers University. Snelson will participate in meetings addressing Middle States' Primary Standard 1 and Secondary Standards 8 and 9.


Thomas Stephenson, James H. Hammons Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Swarthmore College

Professor Stephenson’steaching is focused on courses in general chemistry and physical chemistry, along with a senior-level seminar in quantum chemistry and spectroscopy. Additionally, he regularly supervises student research in his laboratory. The research in his laboratory targets the photochemistry and photophysics of small molecules in the gas phase. Stephenson has also served as chair of the department, associate provost for information services. He has been a member of the college planning committee, budget committee and committee on faculty procedures. Stephenson has a BS in chemistry from Furman University and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago. He was also a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University. Stephenson will participate in meetings addressing Middle States' Primary Standards 11, 12, 13 and 14 and Secondary Standard 10.