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NECHE23: Self-Study Process

Committee Membership

Chair/Co-Chairs notated by *

Executive Committee  

  • Kimberly Tobin, PhD, Professor, Criminal Justice and Public Administration (MSCA) *  

  • Thomas Raffensperger, Director, Library Services (APA)*  

  • Callie Katsounakis, MA, Director of Accreditation and Assessment (NUP)   

  • Brian Jennings, PhD, Dean of Accreditation and Assessment (NUP) 


Steering Committee 

  • Maggie Balch, Dean of Students (NUP) 

  • Eric Bressler, PhD, Professor, Psychology (MSCA) 

  • Claudia Ciano-Boyce, EdD, Professor, Psychology (MSCA, Chapter President)             

  • David Fried, Photographer, Marketing and Communication  

  • Wyatt Hermansen, PhD, Assistant Professor, English (MSCA) 

  • Jesse Johnson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Mathematics (MSCA) 

  • Monique Lopez, EdD, Registrar (APA) 

  • Enrique Morales-Diaz, PhD, Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs (NUP) 

  • Azanda Seymour, EdD, Executive Director, Center for Student Success and Engagement (NUP) 

  • Steven Taksar, Vice President, Administration and Finance (NUP) 

  • Karsten Theis, PhD, Professor, Chemical and Physical Science (MSCA) 


Standard 1: Mission and Purposes    

  • Jesse Johnson, PhD, Professor, Mathematics (MSCA)*                                                   

  • Robert Hayes, PhD, Professor, Psychology (MSCA)    

  • Kristina Knotts, Counselor, Banacos Center (APA)    

  • Ron'na Lytle, MA, Administrative Assistant, Language and Culture Studies (AFSCME; departed WSU Summer 2022) 

  • Jessica Holden, Assistant Professor, Nursing and Allied Health (MSCA) 


Standard 2: Planning and Evaluation    

  • Eric Bressler, PhD, Professor, Psychology (MSCA) *  

  • Jennifer Hanselman, PhD, Professor, Biology (MSCA) (departure Summer 2022) 

  • Jennifer Pappas, Clinical Placement Coordinator, Nursing and Allied Health (MSCA)    

  • Daniel Price, PhD, Associate Professor, Criminal Justice (MSCA)   

  • Timothy Rooke, Special Assistant to the President (NUP)   


Standard 3: Organization and Governance    

  • Claudia Ciano-Boyce, EdD, Professor, Psychology (MSCA, Chapter President)*             

  • Roderico Acevedo, PhD, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Physical Science  (MSCA) 

  • Bryan Scott, Administrative Assistant, Mathematics (AFSCME)    


Standard 4: The Academic Program    

  • Wyatt Hermansen, PhD, Assistant Professor, English (MSCA) *  

  • Monique Lopez, EdD, Registrar (APA)*    

  • Ziblim Abukari, PhD, Associate Dean, School of Health, Natural Sciences, and Human Services (NUP)   

  • Kimberly Berman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biology (MSCA)  

  • Heather Brown, PhD, Assistant Professor, Political Science (MSCA) 

  • Mark Horwitz, PhD, Associate Professor, Social Work (MSCA)    

  • Brian Conz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Geography and Regional Planning (MSCA) 

  • Rachel Gibson, PhD, Associate Professor, Music (MSCA)  

  • Janet Gebelt, PhD, Professor, Psychology (MSCA)   

  • Brian Jennings, PhD, Dean, Accreditation and Assessment (NUP)    

  • Megan Kennedy, PhD, Assistant Professor, Education (MSCA) 

  • Barbara Lucas, Staff Associate, Academic Affairs (APA)   

  • Beverly St. Pierre, PhD, Assistant Professor, Health Sciences (MSCA) 

  • Diana Schwartz, PhD, Professor, Movement Science (MSCA) 

  • Vaithee Subramanian, PhD, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Physical Science (MSCA) 

  • Jessica Tansey, MPA, Director, Program Development and Outreach Initiatives, CGCE (APA) 

  • Holden Nelson (student) 

  • Jason Phillips (student) 


 Standard 5: Students    

  • Maggie Balch, Dean of Students (NUP)* 

  • Azanda Seymour, EdD, Executive Director, Center for Student Success and Engagement (APA)* 

  • Junior Delgado, Director, Career Center (APA) 

  • Dan Forster, Vice President, Division of Student Enrollment, Engagement, and Development (NUP) 

  • Nick Morrison, PhD, Professor, Psychology (MSCA) 

  • Dick Lenfest, Athletic Director (NUP)    

  • Frank Guiliano, PhD, Professor, Chemical and Physical Science (MSCA)  

  • Mike Mazieka, Director, Admission (APA) 


Standard 6: Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship   

  • Karsten Theis, PhD, Professor, Chemical and Physical Science, (MSCA)* 

  • Hillary Sackett-Taylor, PhD, Economics & Management (MSCA) (former S6 Chair; departed committee March 2022) 

  • Lisa Barao, PhD, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice (MSCA) 

  • Lamis Jarvinen, Director, CURCA (APA) 

  • Sarah Lazare, Director, Banacos Academic Center (MPA) 

  • Emily Todd, PhD, Chair and Professor of English (MSCA) (departed WSU Summer 2022) 

  • Nicole West, Assistant Director, CARE, Academic Retention (APA) 

  • Oliver Zeff, Associate Librarian and Library Program Area Chair (MSCA)  

  • Hui Michelle Zhang, PhD, Professor, Psychology (MSCA)  

  • Erik Kozlowski (student)    


Standard 7: Institutional Resources    

  • Steve Taksar, Vice President of Administration and Finance (NUP) 

  • Alan Blair, Assistant Vice President, Information Technology Services (NUP) 

  • Missy Cody, Human Resources Benefits Administrator (NUP) 

  • Maria Feuerstein, Assistant Vice President, Strategic Finance (NUP) 

  • Lisa McMahon, Interim Vice President, Institutional Advancement (NUP) 

  • Becca Brody, Librarian (MSCA) 

  • Ruth Giles, Associate Director, Institutional Advancement (APA) 

  • Lisa Freeman, Associate Vice President, Administration and Finance (NUP) 

  • Maureen Socha, Assistant Vice President, Capital Planning and Facilities (NUP) 

  • Robert Chatt, PhD, Assistant Professor, Economics and Management (MSCA; on leave FY23) 

  • Tina Bones, Staff Associate, Human Resources (NUP) 

  • Daniel Currier (student)    


Standard 8: Educational Effectiveness    

  • Enrique Morales-Diaz, PhD, Assistant Provost, Academic Affairs (NUP) 

  • Erold Bailey, PhD, Associate Professor, Education (MSCA) 

  • Estelle Camacho, Assistant Registrar (APA; departed WSU Spring 2022)  

  • Princy Mennella, PhD, Professor, Psychology (MSCA) 

  • Kathryn M. Weglarz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biology (MSCA) 

  • Tarin Weiss, PhD, Professor, Chemical and Physical Science (MSCA) 


Standard 9: Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure            

  • David Fried, Coordinator of Photography and Visual Services (APA)   

  • Anthony Furnelli, Assistant Professor, Economics and Management (MSCA) 

  • Brian Hubbard, Associate Librarian, Program Area Chair, Library (MSCA) 

  • Tina Langevin, Staff Assistant, Human Resources (NUP) 

  • Max Saito, PhD, Associate Professor, Communication (MSCA) 



  • Beverly Army-Williams, Editor 

Process Timeline

This timeline is a living document and will change as necessary. Last updated September 19, 20222  



May – June 15, 2021

Establish Steering Committee; Create subcommittee structure; Draft charge template

End of Summer 2021

Determine site visit date and reserve site visit space (Campus and Hotel)

Summer 2021

Convene subcommittees, identify subcommittee chair, and begin work

July 15, 2021

Submission of subcommittee charge and timeline to Steering Committee

By July 30, 2021

Convene Steering Committee

Early Fall 2021

Hold NECHE Self-Study Workshop

Fall 2021

Hold Town Halls each month to elicit feedback and provide information on drafts

December 1, 2021

Submission of 1st subcommittee preliminary draft, including any governance action steps

January 2022

NECHE Annual Meeting

March 1, 2022

Subcommittees submit 2nd draft

April 1, 2022

Subcommittees submit 3rd draft

May 15, 2022

Subcommittee final reports due

August 15, 2022

Complete Self- Study draft

Fall 2022

Workroom development, Editing, Organizing Site Visit

September 1, 2022

Distribute Self- Study final draft to campus community

September 2022

Limited release of full draft for feedback

October 19, 2022

Dr. Zulma Toro, Chair of NECHE Visiting Team, Preliminary Site Visit

October 2022

Final Draft released to campus community for feedback

October/November 2022

Town Halls

  • Tuesday, October 25, 10:00-11:00 a.m.: Standards 1-3. Facilitating: Executive Committee and  Jesse Johnson, Eric Bressler, and Claudia Ciano-Boyce
  • Friday, October 28, 1:40-2:55 p.m. (common meeting time): Standards 4, 6, and 8. Facilitating: Executive Committee and  Paige Hermansen, Monique Lopez, Karsten Theis, Enrique Morales-Diaz
  • Tuesday, November 1, 3:00-4:00 p.m.: Standard 5. Facilitating: Executive Committee and Maggie Balch and Azanda Seymour
  • Thursday, November 3, 12:00-1:00 p.m.: Standards 7 and 9. Facilitating: Executive Committee and  Steve Taksar and David Fried

Late November 2022

Submittal of Self-Study Draft to NECHE for feedback

January 2023

Submittal of final version of Self Study

March 5-8 2023

NECHE Site Visit




Inaugural Meetings

Town Hall Presentations

Preliminary Visit by NECHE Team Chair Dr. Zulma Toro- President, Central Connecticut State University


Self-Study Summary

NECHE23 Committee Charge

Link to full charge with steps to approval

Advisory Committee for Westfield State University New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) Re-accreditation 2023

Charge: The Advisory Committee for NECHE Re-accreditation 2023 (NECHE23) will be responsible for completing and submitting the comprehensive self-study report and all addenda in preparation for the site visit of the NECHE Visiting Team in Spring 2023, as well as ensuring a productive visit by the NECHE Visiting Team.

In order to accomplish this, NECHE23 will:

  • Develop a clear reporting and participatory structure that involves the entire campus community
  • Create subcommittees to complete the assigned sections of the self-study
  • Identify chairs or co-chairs for each subcommittee
  • Establish a timeline for completion and revision of work
  • Endeavor to complete the report in an objective manner
  • Collect and organize data
  • Inform administrative units of areas of concern
  • Review and edit draft documents for accuracy and readability
  • Assemble the report and all required addenda
  • Liaise with NECHE officials to ensure correct and successful completion of the report and a productive visit by representatives of the Commission
  • Proactively collect widespread input from the campus community
  • Keep the campus community informed of progress through distribution of draft report sections, town hall meetings, the committee website, and regular updates
  • Maintain transparency and openness in all work, respecting confidentiality where appropriate and necessary in accordance with laws and regulations
  • Ensure that all constituencies have a voice in the approval of the final draft of the self-study. NECHE 23 is established as an Advisory Committee under the provisions of the MSCA/BHE Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Version 06-08-2021 Committee Structure: The Committee will be composed of a Steering Committee and subcommittees

Steering Committee Co-chairs Coordinator of Accreditation Chairs of the subcommittees

  • Subcommittee 1, Standard 1: Mission and Purposes
    • 2 Faculty members
    • 1 NUP - Senior Administrator
    • 1 Board member
    • 1 Student
    • 1 APA
    • 1 AFSCME
  • Subcommittee 2, Standard 2: Planning and Evaluation
    • 2 Faculty members
    • 1 NUP
    • 1 APA
    • 1 Administrator – President’s Office
    • 1 IMT member
  • Subcommittee 3, Standard 3: Organization and Governance
    • 2 Faculty members
    • 1 Vice President
    • 1 APA
    • 1 AFSCME
    • 1 student
    • Trustee Liaisons (ex-officio): 3 Trustees 1 Student Trustee
  • Subcommittee 4, Standard 4: The Academic Program
    • 10 Faculty members
    • 1 Registrar
    • 3 APA
    • 2 SCORE Co-chairs
    • 1 Academic Affairs Administrator
    • 1 AFSCME
    • 2 Students
  • Subcommittee 5, Standard 5: Students
    • 3 APA
    • 1 NUP, Center for Student Success and Engagement
    • 1 Athletics administrator
    • 1 Admissions administrator
    • 1 VP Enrollment management
    • 1 Student Services administrator
    • 2 faculty
    • 2 students
    • 1 Librarian
    • 1 AFSCME from Student Affairs 
  • Subcommittee 6, Standard 6: Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship
    • 4 Faculty
    • 4 APA
    • 1 Part-time faculty
    • 1 Academic Affairs Administrator
    • 1 student
    • 1 Librarian
  • Subcommittee 7, Standard 7: Institutional Resources
    • 2 Faculty members
    • 1 VP of Finance and Administration (Chair)
    • 1 APA (from A&F)
    • 1 NUP (from A&F)
    • 1 Trustee Liaison (ex-officio)
    • 1 NUP (from OHRIDE)
    • 1 AFSCME
    • 1 NUP (ITS)
    • 1 Librarian
    • 1 NUP (Institutional Advancement)
    • 1 APA (Institutional Advancement)
    • 1 Student
  • Subcommittee 8, Standard 8: Educational Effectiveness
    • 4 Faculty members
    • 1 NUP (Institutional Research and Assessment)
    • 1 APA
    • 1 Academic Affairs Administrator
  • Subcommittee 9, Standard 9 : Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure 1
    • Trustee Liaison (ex-officio)
    • 2 Faculty members
    • 1 NUP
    • 1 Librarian
    • 1 APA administrator
    • 1 student
    • 1 APA (from OHRIDE)
  • Subcommittee 10: Overview and report frontmatter and appendices
    • Co-chairs Director of Accreditation 1
    • Administrator – President’s Office
    • 1 NUP
  • Subcommittee 11: Data
    • Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Subcommittee 12: NECHE Team Visit coordination and support
    • Co-chairs
    • Director of Accreditation
    • 1 APA from ITS

Talk to us!

NECHE 2023

Dr. Brian Jennings, Dean, Accreditation and Assessment


Ms. Callie Katsounakis, Director of Accreditation and Special Projects


Blog Updates


by Callie Katsounakis on March 30th, 2022 | Comments | URL:

Hello Everyone!  A few quick notes:

We have received our Draft Twos from the subcommittees- thank you all for your hard work!

In the next two days, Pat O'Brien, Senior Vice President of NECHE, will be visiting our campus to hold several mini workshops for the Board of Trustees, President's Cabinet, and for our Steering Committee. 

The timeline has been updated- please check that tab above for details.  We are also working on updating the University's NECHE page, and will be posting that as soon as it is ready for launch.

Our Second Drafts will soon be available to the University Community for feedback.

Thank you so much, and we hope you enjoy the springtime and have a great end to the 2021-2022 Academic Year!


by Callie Katsounakis on January 28th, 2022 | Comments | URL:

Greetings, and Happy New Year!

We want to thank the entire NECHE committee for all their hard work in submitting Draft One, and for participating in NECHEFEST in mid-January.  We are excited to have the ball officially rolling.  Our second draft is due in March, and we have some things planned for the greater campus community, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, our latest meeting agendas have been uploaded.  We do need to make some updates to our subcommittee list, so that will be coming soon.

We hope you have a great spring semester, and as always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send them to us at

Thank you!





by Callie Katsounakis on November 2nd, 2021 | Comments | URL:

Hello All!

We had our first NECHE LUNCHE today, the virtual brown bag lunch.  We are also holding one tomorrow, 11/3/21 at noon on Zoom.  Hope to see you there!

Minor site update: In the "Subcommittees" tab, the membership list has been updated.

Thank you.


by Callie Katsounakis on September 30th, 2021 | Comments | URL:

Hello All,

We have added items to the NEASC/NECHE Reports tab; mainly, the box that will house "issues" from the reports we received back from NECHE.  In the coming few days, I will be also combing through our 2017 five year report and doing the same as with the 2012- finding out what issues were addressed.

I want to encourage everyone to delve into the entire "issues" document, as there is a lot of overlap between standards.

I will be uploading agendas and minutes in the next few days as well.

The steering committee is gearing up for the Self-Study Workshop in mid-October, and we are scheduling a three-day series of "NECHE LUNCHE" virtual brown bag lunches at the beginning of November, so watch for an email from us.

Thank you, and as always, please contact us if you have any questions.


by Callie Katsounakis on September 17th, 2021 | Comments | URL:


Just a few updates:

  • The NECHE 2023 steering committee met on Thursday, September 16, and an "ALL NECHE" meeting has been scheduled for Friday, October 22 at the common meeting time.  Please keep an eye out in campus communications for our next campuswide conversation
  • The NECHE "membership" tab has been updated; keep checking back, as we are looking for students to join us.  If you are a student who is interested (or know a student who may be interested), please email us at

Thank you, and have a great weekend!


by Callie Katsounakis on September 7th, 2021 | Comments | URL:

Added Chairs Retreat PowerPoint and Opening Week PowerPoint to "Documents" tab


by Callie Katsounakis on August 24th, 2021 | Comments | URL:

Updated Membership list in "Charges and Subcommittees" tab


by Callie Katsounakis on July 27th, 2021 | Comments | URL:


  • PowerPoint and Agenda from July Launch Meeting (in "Documents" tab)
  • Updated Membership list (In "Charges and Subcommittees" tab)

Kicking into gear

by Tom Raffensperger on June 11th, 2021 | Comments | URL:

Dear WSU Campus Community,


Our New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) reaccreditation is kicking into gear.  We would like to thank all who have volunteered thus far to serve on this crucial project. More than 40 community members have volunteered to serve in the last week. Our work on populating the subcommittees continue. Our thanks to Provost Mills and union representatives Lytle (AFSCME), Cahillane and Delgado (APA), and Ciano-Boyce (MSCA) who have been instrumental in this work.


We have been aiming to ensure that the foundational structures and resources are in place once the NECHE 23 subcommittees convene by developing logistics, templates, guides, and other resources to assist in this process.  Our goal is to establish a process for both the upcoming reaccreditation and long-term. 


Please visit our website at and take a look around; it is a work in progress and we are posting new things constantly.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at .


NECHE work is a marathon and not a sprint, and we will encourage a healthy work/life balance as we progress through the self-study and prepare for our site visit. We all work better when we work together.




Kim Tobin, NECHE co-chair

Tom Raffensperger, NECHE co-chair

Callie Katsounakis, Assistant to the Provost







577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01086

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