What has been challenging while serving as an accreditation liaison

Glamour vs Glistening Higher Ed Roles

Is your work glamorous or do you find yourself glistening from the hard work? Most things look glamorous from the other side. But the truth is that there is effort involved as a leader in higher education. So, that ‘glistening’ (aka sweat) is the hard work showing.

I was traveling last week. While boarding the plane, a woman came up behind me, out of breath. She asked, “is this group 4.” I said, “yep – you made it!”. The look of relief she felt from my confirmation was visible. She was glad to have stopped running. Glad to be at her destination. (You may know the feeling.) I remarked that travel wasn’t as glamorous as it used to be. I’m not sure it ever was glamorous in my lifetime.What has been challenging while serving as an accreditation liaison

Glamour vs glistening isn’t just part of travel. It shows up in the VERY hard work that we do for student success.

In the National Survey of Accreditation Liaisons, 92% of Accreditation Liaisons said they found the ability to make an impact among the most satisfying reasons for serving in the demanding role. That’s the glamour part.

The glistening part of the Accreditation Liaisons’ role involves the challenges. We learned from the National Survey of Accreditation Liaisons that the most common issues include: responsibility without authority, others not understanding the importance of accreditation, getting buy-in and help, managing the responsibility/ work-load, new or changing initiatives or policies that cause non-compliance with a standard and employee turnover throughout the college or university. It feels a lot like hustling to get to your gate at the airport.

Despite these challenges, there are many of us (higher ed leaders) that LOVE the work that we do to make a better college or university — including Accreditation Liaisons. Accreditation Liaisons (institutional and programmatic) can join IEHE’s national free network in the Accreditation Liaison Collaborative. Not the Accreditation Liaison for your institution? Share this with your Accreditation Liaison or learn more about the Collaborative.