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UHV appoints dean, education professor to oversee accreditation efforts

By Victoria Advocate
July 23, 2011 at 2:23 a.m.


Two University of Houston-Victoria professors will lead the school's re-accreditation project.

Lawrence Rossow, dean of the University of Houston-Victoria School of Education & Human Development, and Jill Fox, an education professor and chair of the school's Department of Teacher Leadership and New Literacies, will oversee the university's newly created Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

In their new positions, the pair will begin preparations and provide guidance for the upcoming 10-year review of the university's accreditation through the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

An on-site visit by the organization's accreditation review team is anticipated for spring 2014, and action on reaffirmation will follow in December of that year.

"Though these dates seem far away, it is important that extensive preparations begin next year," UHV Interim President Don Smith said. "Assessment procedures must be firmly in place across the university, and there also must be documented evidence of how assessment results have been used in an effort to improve effectiveness."

The review process has changed greatly since UHV last went through it in 2003, he said. There are now off-site as well as on-site reviews, and the university must produce and provide a Quality Enhancement Plan to the visiting accreditation team.

"There is much information to be shared and work to be done in preparation for the review, and it's important to have educators such as Dr. Rossow and Dr. Fox who have been involved with this process," Smith said. "They bring their knowledge and experience to this new Office of Institutional Effectiveness. I asked them to consider this, and I appreciate their willingness to lead the effort."

Before coming to UHV, Rossow and Fox led successful efforts in program development and assessment at their respective institutions. Each has participated in institutional reviews by regional accrediting bodies.

Rossow will serve as associate vice president for institutional effectiveness beginning in mid-August. He will report to Smith, who has agreed to serve as interim provost through the fall semester while a search is conducted to find a new provost. New UHV President Philip Castille will arrive on Aug. 18.

"I look forward to helping UHV get ready for its accreditation visit," Rossow said. "It will require the active participation of each and every individual directly or indirectly connected to the campus community. We are definitely up to the challenge and will succeed in this effort."

Before joining UHV in 2009, Rossow was a professor of education at the University of Oklahoma, where he also served as director of the Center for Special Education Due Process. Rossow's title and appointment to the new UHV office is temporary since he intends to return to full-time teaching after the 2011-2012 school year.

Fox will become UHV's director of assessment in mid-August and will report to Rossow. Fox joined UHV in the fall after serving as director of early childhood development programs at the University of Texas-Arlington.

Both will continue to teach. They also will coordinate efforts with the university's academic schools and administrative divisions, as well as with UHV Assistant Provost Holly Verhasselt, who monitors accreditation requirements and facilitates university compliance.

An interim dean for the School of Education & Human Development will be appointed in mid-August. A national search for a new dean will begin shortly after that.

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