Press release

 

We have received the Site Visit Report from the Department of Higher Education, which marks the completion of the first process in the final step. There were 11 areas of non-compliance, which will require specific responses and changes from Tarkio College. Many of the areas of non-compliance relate to documentation and description. As an example, when our Fundraising Counsel constructed and had the fundraising brochures printed he listed us as offering an Associates of Science degree. While it is in our long-range plans to offer this degree in Agriculture, it was not part of the initial application, therefore, the state sees this as an inconsistency which needs to be addressed. The simple solution is that we will no longer use that brochure and print new ones without the reference to the A.S. degree. Our goal is to address each of these areas of non-compliance one at a time and submit revised documents for the state to review. Remember, this is a process not a once and done application. Regulators do what they must do and that is to make sure we comply with the letter of the law. But, we must bring our application into compliance before we can move forward. Then there were 8 areas of concern. These are areas where there is potential for a negative impact, so we must submit a plan to address these areas. This includes faculty positions not yet filled. While we presented to them the names and credentials of the faculty we plan to hire, they wanted us to put them on our payroll first. Kind of a chicken and egg situation, but we will submit a plan, which is all that is required.


Lastly there are 18 recommendations, which only require us to submit a plan to address this in our accreditation process. This includes things like recommending that we re-organize our catalog and hiring a CPA to do our audit. Things that we have plans to do and have moved forward on, but they want re-assurance that we will do these things. This section stated that all the board members present could not recite the mission from memory. Each had a general understanding of the mission statement, but may have used a different word here or there. Now we know that board members must memorize and recite the mission statement. 

 

In general, we are very pleased with the visit and the report. We shall do our part to complete the next process and to keep the process going until we are certified. From my understanding the staff at MDHE felt we did very well in the first process and seem to be enthusiastic about our completing the process, in due time, but we do recommend patience, as this is a process.

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