Brian Berry named co-chair of Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Steering Committee

Dr. Brian Berry. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications.

Dr. Brian Berry will help lead reaccreditation efforts at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as the new faculty co-chair of the UA Little Rock Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Steering Committee. 

In this position, Berry, chair of the Department of Chemistry, will work closely with Dr. Erin Finzer, interim associate vice chancellor for academic affairs for continuous improvement, to help the university maintain Higher Learning Commission standards, coordinate university-wide assessment, and prepare for the Higher Learning Commission site visit in 2020.

“The position is a very important one to ensure a successful reaccreditation process for the university,” Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Velmer Burton said.

The Higher Learning Commission is a regional institutional accreditor that accredits higher education institutions in 19 states. Colleges and universities maintain reaccreditation through evaluation on mission, integrity through ethical and responsible conduct, teaching and learning, and resources, planning, and institutional effectiveness.

“Accreditation assures our students, their families, and those in the state who fund higher education that we are diligent about maintaining standards and that we are continuously assessing our programs and using that data to improve what we do as an institution of higher learning,” Berry said.

Berry earned his doctorate of applied science in applied chemistry from UA Little Rock. After serving as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, he returned to UA Little Rock as an assistant professor of chemistry in 2008.

He has since served the university in a number of supporting and leadership roles, including recently serving on the Strategic Planning Task Force for the past year, which is an important component of the Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation process.

Berry is seeking nominations for five UA Little Rock faculty and staff members to serve on a new Accreditation Compliance Taskforce through fall 2019. The members should include faculty and staff who have experience in higher education administration, student support services, student affairs, data, research, and face-to-face, online, and concurrent teaching.

Nominations should be emailed to Berry at bcberry@ualr.edu by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13.

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