American University has undergone significant transformations since the last self-study in 2004. It has a new president, provost, and a new organizational structure that includes additional leadership (vice provosts) in graduate studies and research and in undergraduate studies. By fall 2012, six of the seven schools and colleges will have deans who have been hired since 2009. The university has a new strategic plan, which has led to a significant number of new initiatives relating to every Middle States standard. Given the many changes and initiatives that have occurred over the last eight years, as well as the rapid changes that have occurred since the last Periodic Review Report in 2009, the university welcomes the opportunity to conduct a comprehensive self-study.
The university would like to use the self-study as a way to explore and expand upon the planning processes and projects currently underway. AU had been mindful of the changing demographics of the United States and the impact this is likely to have in higher education. It also recognizes the increasing role that technology, especially in terms of on-line learning, is likely to play in higher education in the years ahead. Demands for specific skills and knowledge are expected to change over time and AU recognizes that it must be prepared to meet these needs. The changing nature of master’s level graduate programs and the growing demand for more flexible, convenient delivery methods are other developments we continue to take into account as we move forward.
AU’s self-study will have an emphasis on the changing nature of higher education in the decades ahead. Ideally, the self-study will offer suggestions for how AU can more fully realize its potential between 2014 and 2024, when our next self-study is due.
AU’s plans for self-study as presented to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.