Refusing to Play ‘Whipping Boy’

David Moltz

The American Academy for Liberal Education has withdrawn its petition for renewal of recognition by the U.S. Education Department’s advisory panel on accreditation, which, after having been dismantled and reconfigured, held its first meeting in over two years Wednesday.
The accreditor’s decision came as a surprise to many in attendance at the first day of meetings held by the new-look National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. Earlier this week, AALE officials had vowed to fight the Education Department staff’s recommendation that NACIQI urge Education Secretary Arne Duncan to deny recognition for their accreditation body because of its “continued noncompliance.”
Ralph A. Rossum, chairman of the AALE board and Salvatori Professor of American Constitutionalism at Claremont McKenna College, told Inside Higher Ed that the agency decided to withdraw from the process of seeking renewed recognition because of the lack of time his agency was given by the Education Department to defend itself. He noted that AALE received the final report of Education Department staff members — which contained 45 citations of noncompliance — the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.