NECHE 2022

University Seal

Welcome to the 2020-2022 NECHE Self Study web page. Fitchburg State University is currently engaged in a process of self-study as part of a comprehensive evaluation conducted every ten years as required by the Commission. This comprehensive evaluation includes our self-study report, an on-site evaluation in spring 2022 by a group of peers and finally a review and decision on our accreditation status by the Commission. This site provides an overview of the process and will be regularly updated with documents and information allowing the university community and public to understand and fully participate in the accreditation process.

Fitchburg State University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). NECHE is the regional accreditation agency for colleges and universities in the six New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Led by Dr. Lawrence Schall, the commission is composed of faculty, administrators, and trustees from member colleges and
universities, as well as public members. NECHE’s purpose is to foster the improvement of universities and serve the public in assuring the quality of institutions of higher education. The Commission is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).


The attached timeline lays out the accreditation review process, starting in 2020 with the appointment of committees around the accreditation standards and culminating with a team visit in March 2022.

Committee Membership

  • Christian Estrella, Assistant Vice President, Financial Services, Co-Chair
  • DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld, Associate Professor, English Studies, Co-Chair
  • Meg Hoey, Dean of Health & Natural Sciences
  • Jason Miles, Director of Education Unit Accountability & Licensure
  • Ian Murray, Laboratory Technician
  • Jeffrey Wolfman, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
  • John Crawley, Assistant Professor, Business Administration
  • Rala Diakite, Professor, Humanities
  • Akwasi Duah, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Jeffrey Godin, Professor, Exercise and Sports Science
  • Elaine Jackson, Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Kimberly Kovac, Graduate Student Representative
  • Becky Copper-Glenz, Dean, School of Online, Graduate and Continuing Education, Co-Chair
  • Elizabeth Gordon, Professor, Earth & Geographic Sciences, Co-Chair
  • Melisa Alves, Director, Career Counseling & Advising Center
  • Franca Barricelli, Dean, School of Arts and Sciences
  • Linda Dupell, Registrar
  • Drew Goodwin, Coordinator of Early College and Dual Enrollment
  • Lisa Moison, Associate Dean, School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education
  • Timothy Hilliard, Professor, Exercise & Sports Science
  • Aruna Krishnamurthy, Professor, English Studies
  • Renee Scapparone, Professor, Business Administration
  • Daniel Welsh, Associate Professor, Biology
  • Hong Yu, Assistant Professor, Engineering Technology
  • Joseph Cautela, SGA Treasurer
  • Nicholas Thornton, Graduate Student Representative
  • Hank Parkinson, Associate Dean of Student Development, Co-Chair
  • Eric Williams, Assistant Professor, Biology, Co-Chair
  • Kat McLellan, Director, Academic Coaching and Tutoring Center
  • Jinawa McNeil, Director of Admissions
  • Lauren O'Brien, Associate Director, Counseling Services
  • Heather Ruland, Director of Student Accounts
  • Melissa Dunn, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Rose Kronziah-Seme, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Lori Steckervetz, Assistant Librarian, Library
  • David Malek, Graduate Student Representative
  • Erin Masson, Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Nancy Murray, Professor, Education, Co-Chair
  • Eric Budd, Professor, Economics, History and Political Science, Co-Chair
  • Nicole Chelonis, Director of Digital Learning
  • Mary Beth McKenzie, Associate Vice President, Finance & Administration
  • Kimberly Page, Director of Human Resources
  • Jason Smith, Assistant Dean, Academic Affairs
  • Cheryl Armstrong, Associate Professor, Psychological Science
  • Jon Krasner, Professor, Communications Media
  • Nirajan Mani, Assistant Professor, Engineering Technology
  • Connie Strittmatter, Associate Librarian, Library
  • Kisha Tracy, Associate Professor, English Studies
  • Jenary Merced, Graduate Student Representative
  • Marcus Perla, Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Jacalyn Kremer, Dean, Library, Co-Chair
  • Robert Shapiro, Assistant Professor, Education, Co-Chair
  • Jay Bry, Vice President for Finance & Administration
  • Laura Croteau, Building Services Manager, Housing & Residential Services
  • Jessica Murdoch, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
  • Steve Swartz, Chief Technology Officer
  • Soumitra Basu, Assistant Professor, Engineering Technology
  • Asher Jackson, Associate Librarian, Library
  • Ronald Krieser, Associate Professor, Biology
  • Denise Simion, Assistant Professor, Business Administration
  • Jayaraju Nulakachandanam, Graduate Student Representative
  • Samantha Richard, Graduate Student Representative & Undergraduate Alumni
  • Cate Kaluzny, Director of Assessment, Institutional Research and Planning, Co-Chair
  • J.J. Sylvia IV, Assistant Professor, Communications Media, Co-Chair
  • Laura Bayless, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Dani Langdon, Assistant Director, Center for Professional Studies
  • Elizabeth Swartz, Interim Director, TRIO Student Support Services
  • Susan Beddes, Academic and Career Advisor, Career Services and Advising Center
  • Chris Cratsley, Professor, Biology
  • Emma Downs, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
  • Sean Goodlett, Professor, Economics, History and Political Science
  • Frank Mabee, Associate Professor, English Studies
  • Megan Steiger, Graduate Student Representative & Undergraduate Alumni
  • Louise Timmons, Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Kristin Murphy, Director of Title IX Compliance, Human Resources & Payroll Services, Co-Chair
  • Jannette McMenamy, Professor, Psychological Science, Co-Chair
  • Carin Bullis, Director of Budgeting, Financial Services
  • Sherry Horeanopoulos, Information Security Officer, Information Technology
  • Christopher Medley, Director, Housing and Residential Services
  • Randall Grometstein, Professor, Behavioral Sciences
  • Linda LeBlanc, Librarian, Library
  • Nellipher Mchenga, Assistant Professor, Nursing
  • Josh Spero, Professor, Economics, History and Political Science
  • George DiFrancesco, Graduate Student Representative
  • Mairead Weagle, SGA Vice President
  • Matthew Bruun, Director of Public Relations


Committee Meetings Schedule

  • September 14th, 3:00 - 4:30 pm
  • November 5th, 9:30 - 11:00 am
  • December 4th, 1:00 - 2:30 pm
  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 3:00 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Friday, November 13th, 3:30 - 5:00 PM
  • Friday, December 11th, 3:30 - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • November 4th, 9:30-10:30 AM
  • November 18th, 9:30-10:30 AM
  • December 2nd, 9:30-10:30 AM
  • December 16th, 9:30-10:30 AM
  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 17th, 8:00 AM
  • Tuesday, December 1st, 8:00 AM
  • Tuesday, December 15th, 8:00 AM
  • Friday, October 2nd, 3:30 - 5:00 pm
  • Friday, October 16th,  3:30 - 5:00 pm
  • Friday, November 13th,  3:30 - 5:00 pm
  • Friday, December 11th,  3:30 - 5:00 pm 
  • Friday, Oct. 9, 2 to 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 1st, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Tuesday, October 20th, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Tuesday, November 3rd, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Thursday, November 19th, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
  • Tuesday, December 1st, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Friday, Oct. 2, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Friday, November 6th, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
  • Friday, November 20th, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
  • Friday, December 4th, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
  • Friday, December 18th, 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Campus Communications

Dear Campus Community,

We are writing to remind the campus community that work continues as the University prepares for our NECHE 10 year regional comprehensive accreditation review that officially takes place in March 2022.  Our team of 90 staff, faculty, and students are working within committees to write our story.

We wanted to share that two new members have been added to the team.  Dr. Ben Railton from our English Studies Department has been appointed as the editor of our Self-Study.  Ms. Lynn Barrieau, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees will serve on the Steering Committee.  We are grateful to Ben and Lynn for participating in this critical work. 

Just as a reminder that we have created a web page that houses information about the process and includes committee membership, meeting schedules and many additional resources.  In addition, we have an email address,, which you can use to send questions or comments anytime.

As our committees begin to construct our narrative, we will share more specifics in the coming months.


Cathy and Daneen

Dr. Catherine R. Canney
Co-Chair, NECHE 2022 Self-Study
Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs

Dr. Daneen Deptula
Co-Chair, NECHE 2022 Self-Study
Professor, Psychological Science


Contact NECHE Self Study Co-Chairs Cathy Canney, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Daneen Deptula, Professor of Psychological Science, at