NECHE Accreditation

University Seal

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).

Under the terms of our accreditation, the university conducts a comprehensive self-study every 10 years. Our most recent self-study was completed in 2022. 

Read the institutional self-study

Additionally, we track our progress towards the goals outlined in our self-study and issue a summary report on an annual basis. 

Read the AY23 Summary Report

NECHE 2022 Accreditation Archive

Information from the 2022 NECHE accreditation process is preserved below. The site visit for the university's accreditation took place from March 20 to 23, 2022.

Read the NECHE Visiting Team Report

Read the University Response, June 2022

Read the Commission's Renewal Notice, December 2022

Public comments were accepted as part of the accreditation process in advance of the visiting team's review.


This timeline laid out the accreditation review process, starting in 2020 with the appointment of committees around the accreditation standards and culminating with the team visit in March 2022.

Committee Membership


  • Cathy Canney, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, NECHE Self-Study Co-Chair
  • Daneen Deptula, Professor, Psychological Science, NECHE Self-Study Co-Chair
  • Ben Railton, Professor, English Studies, Self-Study Editor
  • Pam McCafferty, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research and Planning
  • Rajeev Indira Nagaraju, Director of Institutional Research, Institutional Research and Planning
  • Lynn Barrieau, Board Member, Board of Trustees
  • DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld, Associate Professor, English Studies, Co-Chair: Standards 1,2,3
  • Christian Estrella, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Administration, Co-Chair: Standards 1,2,3
  • Becky Copper Glenz, Dean of School of Graduate, Online, and Continuing Education, Co-Chair: Standard 4
  • Liz Gordon, Professor and Department Chair of Earth and Geographic Sciences, Co-Chair: Standard 4
  • Hank Parkinson, Associate Dean of Student Development, Co-Chair: Standard 5
  • Eric Williams, Assistant Professor, Biology and Chemistry, Co-Chair: Standard 5
  • Eric Budd, Professor, Economics, History, and Political Science, Co-Chair: Standard 6
  • Nancy Murray, Dean of Education and Dean of Business, Co-Chair: Standard 6
  • Jacalyn Kremer, Dean of Library, Co-Chair: Standard 7
  • Robert Shapiro, Associate Professor, Education, Co-Chair: Standard 7
  • Cate Kaluzny, Director of Assessment, Institutional Research and Planning, Co-Chair: Standard 8
  • JJ Sylvia, Assistant Professor, Communications Media, Co-Chair: Standard 8
  • Matt Bruun, Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications, Co-Chair: Standard 9
  • Jannette McMenamy, Professor, Psychological Science, Co-Chair: Standard 9
  • Christian Estrella, Assistant Vice President, Financial Services, Co-Chair
  • DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld, Associate Professor, English Studies, Co-Chair
  • Meg Hoey, Dean of Health and Natural Sciences
  • Jason Miles, Director of Education Unit Accountability and 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 and Geographic Sciences, Co-Chair
  • Melisa Alves, Director, Career Counseling and 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 and 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, Dean of Education and Interim Dean of Business, Co-Chair
  • Eric Budd, Professor, Economics, History and Political Science, Co-Chair
  • Mary Beth McKenzie, Associate Vice President, Finance and 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 and Administration
  • Laura Croteau, Building Services Manager, Housing and 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 and 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 and Undergraduate Alumni
  • Louise Timmons, Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Jannette McMenamy, Professor, Psychological Science, Co-Chair
  • Matthew Bruun, Director of Public Relations, 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

Committee Meetings Schedule

  • September 14, 3 - 4:30 p.m.
  • November 5, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
  • December 4, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
  • January 20, 2021: 9 - 10:30 a.m.
  • March 17, 2021: 3 - 4:30 p.m.
  • 1/25/21 at 10 a.m.
  • 2/22/21 at 9 a.m.
  • 3/19/21 at 9 a.m.
  • 4/22/21 at 8:30 a.m.

Every other Friday 1- 2 p.m.

1/29, 2/12, 2/26, 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, 4/23, 5/7 and 5/21

  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 17, 8 a.m.
  • Tuesday, December 1, 8 a.m.
  • Tuesday, December 15, 8 a.m.

Friday 2/26 at 3:30 p.m.

  • Friday, Oct. 9, 2 to 3 p.m.

Wednesday, February 3 from 8:30  - 9:30 a.m.
Wednesday, February 10 from 8:30 - 9 a.m.
Tuesday, February 16 from 12 - 1 p.m.
Friday, February 26 from 9 - 10 a.m.

Every other Friday from 9 - 10:00 a.m.

Dates: 9/10, 9/24, 10/8, 10/22, 11/5, 11/19, 12/3 

Campus Communications

To the campus community,

It is my privilege today to inform you that the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) has renewed our institutional accreditation, an affirmation of our collective commitment to the university’s values and our focus on student success. 

The commission’s formal notice (attached) cited the university’s commitment to its strategic plan, along with the open and inclusive process that guided its development. Commission members also praised our extensive work to elevate diversity, equity and inclusion across the campus community, and the deep dedication to students demonstrated by our faculty and staff.

“With its devoted and talented faculty and staff, committed Board of Trustees, engaged student body, and visionary leadership, Fitchburg State University is well positioned to prepare ‘students to lead, serve, and succeed’ well into the future,” the commission’s letter states.

Once again, I want to publicly thank all who contributed to the successful accreditation process. This includes the steering committee co-chaired by Professor Daneen Deptula and former Provost Cathy Canney, and Associate Vice President for Institutional Research Pamela McCafferty, whose contributions to the process were invaluable. I also want to acknowledge the campus constituents, including students, faculty, staff, and members of the Board of Trustees, who met with accrediting team members during their campus visit in the spring. This was a group effort, and our work continues.

Thank you.


Richard S. Lapidus

Subject: NECHE 2022 Self-Study - December Draft

December 16, 2021

Dear Campus Community, 

Thank you to all who took the time to read the November draft of our NECHE Self-Study and provide feedback.  We have posted an updated December draft to our NECHE webpage here.  The narrative portion of the self-study has been reduced to the maximum limit of 100 pages so we anticipate limited additional content edits.

The full NECHE Self-Study report includes additional chapters with required data forms and appendices so our NECHE team will turn their attention to that work including the meticulous work of creating an electronic evidence room.  The complete report will be finalized in January and posted to the web with notification to the campus.

We appreciate the continued attention our Steering and Standard Committees have devoted to this work as well as many others across campus who are assisting with the numerous components of this accreditation process.

We wish you all the best for enjoyable and relaxing holidays!!

Cathy and Daneen

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

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

Dear Campus Community,

As we continue to prepare for our 10-year comprehensive accreditation evaluation, we have received notification from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) that Dr. Frank Sánchez, President of Rhode Island College, will serve as the chair of our visiting evaluation team. This visiting team will be on campus March 20-23, 2022.

As we near the end of the semester, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to all the faculty, staff, and students that have served on NECHE committees this year to work on drafting our self-study. With the exceptional year we are working within, your service to this critical endeavor demonstrates your commitment to this institution. The work will continue through our March 2022 visit at which time we will be able to share our story with Dr. Sánchez and the visiting team. This process of self-reflection has reminded us that we have a lot to be proud of. Our self-study development work has also afforded us the opportunity to put into greater focus areas for which we will continue to dedicate attention and improve.

Our NECHE self-study co-chairs Dr. Cathy Canney and Dr. Daneen Deptula will continue to update the campus as progress continues. We anticipate sharing a draft of the self-study report in early fall. If there are any questions about this accreditation renewal process, please feel free to email

All my best in these final weeks of the semester.


Richard S. Lapidus

Dear Campus Colleagues,

Last week, the NECHE Standard Committee co-chairs hosted informational sessions to review the accreditation standards and what we are learning as we describe how Fitchburg State is adhering to these standards.  All sessions were recorded and are available for viewing on our NECHE 2022 web page.

Learn more about our process for accreditation renewal by viewing these information session recordings.  As always, please email with questions or comments.

Our best,

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

Dear Campus Community,

NECHE has nine accreditation standards by which Fitchburg State University will be evaluated as part of our comprehensive reaccreditation process that includes an evaluation team visit to campus in March of 2022.  Prior to that visit, we are required to prepare a self-study document reflecting on how our institution adheres to these standards while telling our own unique story.

We have seven separate committees that convened this fall to begin this work and are now drafting narrative.  The co-chairs and their committee members will host informational sessions on Tuesday, April 13 and Thursday, April 15 to present information on what each of these standards covers and share some of what they are learning through this process.  We encourage you to attend one or two of these sessions to learn more! If you are unable to attend, or find that you are interested in more than one standard, please plan on watching the recording sessions which will be posted to the NECHE website.

Tuesday, April 13, 3:30 pm

Standard Four, The Academic Program: Co-Chairs, Dr. Elizabeth Gordon and Dr. Becky Copper-Glenz

Google Meet:

Standard Six, Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship: Co-Chairs, Dr. Eric Budd and Dr. Nancy Murray 

Google Meet:

Standard Seven, Institutional Resources, Co-Chairs, Dr. Robert Shapiro and Dr. Jackie Kremer  

Google Meet:

Standard Nine, Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure: Co-Chairs, Dr. Jannette McMenamy and Ms. Kristin Murphy 

Google Meet:

Thursday, April 15, 3:30 pm

Standard 1, 2, 3, Mission and Purposes, Planning and Evaluation, Organization and Governance: Co-Chairs, Dr. DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld and Mr. Christian Estrella

Google Meet:

Standard Five, Students: Co-Chairs, Dr. Eric Williams and Dr. Hank Parkinson

Google Meet:

Standard Eight, Educational Effectiveness: Co-Chairs, Dr. John Sylvia and Dr. Cate Kaluzny 

Google Meet:

We anticipate sharing a full draft of the self-study in September and will offer several means for you to provide input and feedback. We have approximately 90 staff, faculty and students currently working to develop this self-study.  As co-chairs overseeing the process, we have been very impressed by the level of engagement and commitment these individuals have demonstrated in this critical work. 

As always, visit our NECHE 2022 website here for more information or email with questions or comments.

Thank you,

Cathy and Daneen

Dr. Catherine R. Canney                                            Dr. Daneen Deptula

Co-Chair, NECHE 2022 Self-Study                             Co-Chair, NECHE 2022 Self-Study

Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs                Professor, Psychological Science

Dear Campus Community,

Thank you to all the students, staff, faculty, and librarians that completed the NECHE survey.  We had participation from 400 students, 97 staff/administrators, and 102 faculty and librarians. Winners of the Dunkin gift cards have been notified and are hopefully enjoying the refreshments!

Our Standard Committees are busy reviewing the survey results.  In April, we will host open forums, presented separately by each NECHE standard subcommittee. You will be able to join those standard forums of most interest to you. At that time, we'll be able to share insights with you from these survey responses.

As always, you can check our NECHE website for additional information or email with any questions or comments.

Take good care,

Cathy and Daneen

Dr. Catherine R. Canney                                            Dr. Daneen Deptula
Co-Chair, NECHE 2022 Self-Study                             Co-Chair, NECHE 2022 Self-Study
Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs            Professor, Psychological Science

Dear Campus Community,

As we begin the spring 2021 semester, in our hopeful New Year, we wanted to remind the campus community that we are in the process of drafting a self-study document that is required as part of our New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) ten-year comprehensive regional accreditation.  Our 18+ month process, which officially commenced this past fall, culminates with an evaluative team visit to campus in March 2022.

As part of this work, the Steering Committee has developed a campus survey to seek input from the campus community on some topics being considered within the Standards Committees. This survey will be distributed later this week and we would greatly appreciate your participation.

In addition, the Commission has issued new revised standards, which can be found here.  These standards became effective in January 2021 and are the ones by which we will be evaluated and those that we are reviewing as we write our self-study. The process of reaccreditation will both affirm our adherence to these standards and allow us the opportunity to articulate priorities for continuous improvement. We encourage you to look at the standards and reflect on them as you think about your work at the university. 

Details regarding committee membership, timelines and resources can be found at our NECHE 2022 webpage.  Please feel free to email with any questions or comments.


Kind Regards,

Cathy                                                                            Daneen

Dr. Catherine R. Canney                                            Dr. Daneen Deptula

Co-Chair, NECHE 2022 Self-Study                             Co-Chair, NECHE 2022 Self-Study

Associate Vice-President, Academic Affairs               Professor, Psychological Science

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