Accreditation process prompts self assessment of strengths and opportunities
NEASC is back. Every 10 years, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Inc., an organization whose name is synonymous with high standards in accreditation, pays a visit to Salem State University. Unlike previous visits, the nation’s oldest regional accrediting association is, for the first time this year, evaluating Salem State as a university rather than a college. According to Neal DeChillo, dean of the Schools of Human Services and co-chair of the NEASC committee at Salem State, faculty, administrators and students are setting the bar high.
“It’s a healthy process,” explains DeChillo, “and one of the great benefits is that it affords us the opportunity to do a self-evaluation.” At center stage are the students who have, through several surveys and various outreach efforts, expressed the pros and cons of their Salem State experience. They have had easy access to the evaluation forms on the university’s website, and their concerns have been reviewed carefully by the university’s NEASC team. “The assessment of student learning is a very important component,” adds DeChillo. Read more.
Development of Weir property continues
The migration of faculty, students and administrators from one side of Loring Avenue to the other continues as information technology services and facilities move to the former Weir property.
The property was purchased last year for $4.5 million from North Shore Realty Development, LLC, owned by Henry ’74 and Donna Bertolon, who had earlier purchased the land and buildings for the same price on Salem State’s behalf. The former Weir Valves & Controls is a 3.5-acre site directly across from its Central Campus and its buildings and land offer numerous opportunities. University officials are still weighing the best way to renovate the property. Use as a residence hall, academic building, student center or fitness facility are all in the mix as officials envision an entry point for a Canal Street corridor that would be much more attractive for the city and spur development in the area.
So far, Salem State has renovated a portion of the first floor of the Stanley Building, converting it to a practice hall for the university’s music department, and has relocated its shipping and receiving department there. The university’s building trade shops will round out the occupancy on the first floor. Information technology services, capital planning and maintenance and utilities personnel will share space on the second floor. “Construction is on schedule for occupancy over the winter break,” says Debra Mizia, director of projects and planning.
For more detail on the university's building projects, visit salemstate.edu/facilities.
Professor’s book chronicles health care in 1920s Harlem
Building a Healthy Black Harlem: Health Politics in Harlem, New York, from the Jazz Age to the Great Depression, by Salem State University history professor Jamie J. Wilson, addresses the lack of health care in Harlem during the 1920s and ’30s, a time when people needed it the most. The author, who teaches “World History II” and “History of the African American II” at Salem State University, discusses the ways members of the Harlem community healed themselves—at least in a psychosocial way—with the use of clairvoyance and fortune telling. With this in-depth study of a people in a time of crisis, Assistant Professor Wilson brings an interesting perspective to the Harlem Renaissance, addressing issues that have long been ignored.
An interview with Professor Wilson is available at politicalaffairs.net/podcasts.