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October 1, 2020

Faculty, Staff, and Students,

The UT Health Science Center has just completed a very successful SACSCOC accreditation site visit. This accreditation is necessary for UTHSC to receive federal funds; therefore, it is critical to our existence.

Our last SACSCOC visit was in 2015 after our accreditation was separated from the UT Knoxville campus. Because SACSCOC considered us a “new” institution then, we were required to complete the accreditation cycle again this year.

The required site visit was conducted entirely online – a first for UTHSC and the SACSCOC review committee. Our written report was submitted and reviewed last year.

The review committee had only one potential recommendation out of 73 standards. This standard is related to a single account – our University Unrestricted Reserve Fund balance from our last audit. While the reviewers singled out this account, they also indicated that our total reserves are strong and have grown since the last site visit.

We plan to correct this issue before the final decision regarding full accreditation is made by the SACSCOC governing body in December of 2021. We are confident we can respond completely before the December date. We expect to receive full accreditation, which would mean our next full accreditation process and visit would be due in 2030.

On behalf of the campus, I offer special thanks to Dr. Lori Gonzalez and her team for an exemplary job. Drs. MaryAnn Clark and Allen Dupont ensured all the standards were adequately addressed with accompanying evidence to support our responses. Dr. Charles Snyder developed the Quality Enhancement Plan document, which was very well received by the committee.

Every unit on campus that was asked to provide information did so in a timely manner. This was truly a group effort. We had the opportunity to highlight the excellence of our campus and the work of the AFSA team, colleges, and administrative units. The site visitors were laudatory of our faculty, staff, students, facilities, and our processes. It is noteworthy that the site visit chair commented that this was the best review of the 13 visits he has chaired.

There is much to celebrate!

With my personal thanks to everyone who made this happen,

Steve Schwab, MD

May 26, 2022