Florida must be concerned about its institutions of higher education

Recent Florida legislation, SPB 7044, should be viewed with much concern and with skepticism as to its consequences. The bill requires state colleges and universities to seek reaffirmation from different accrediting organizations at the end of each review cycle.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the US Department of Education both have identified major problems that could result from this action.

Some members of the Florida legislature who supported this bill cited “transparency” as a reason to change agencies. The CHEA standards used to recognize accreditors are based on the principle of transparency, which requires actions and decisions about institutions to be posted on the agency’s and the institution’s websites.

Institutional accreditors are responsive to this standard and provide evidence that they act impartially and with transparency of activities and with mindfulness to ensure public trust.

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