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Inside Higher Ed Covers the Accrediting Controversy at La Sierra University

In an article titled “Creation and Accreditation,” the controversy over the future of Adventist academic accreditation spreads to one of the major news sites for higher education.

In the controversy, La Sierra is caught between two accrediting groups using different measuring sticks. There is the Adventist association, which measures the university’s fidelity to church beliefs and judges whether it will remain an Adventist institution. And there is the academic accreditor, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, which includes measures of academic freedom and institutional autonomy in its evaluation. WASC renewed La Sierra’s accreditation for another eight years in August 2010.


The two groups do not usually conflict: the Adventist accreditor relies on WASC to judge administrative, financial and educational issues, while focusing its own analysis on whether the institution fulfills the mission of the church. But what raises red flags for one committee might trouble the other for different reasons.


In the dispute over evolution, WASC sees threats to the university’s autonomy and academic freedom, Becker wrote in a press release in August: “WASC clearly understands that this is a denominational issue, but it also sees the efforts of some outside the university as threatening to La Sierra’s institutional autonomy.”

Read the whole article here.

Correction: This originally misstated that Inside Higher Ed was a part of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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