Communication Updates

August 23, 2021

Middle States Peer Evaluation Team Visit
A Middle States Peer Evaluation Team, led by Fordham University President the Rev. Joseph M. McShane, SJ, will make a virtual site visit to Villanova from Sept. 26 to 29. The visit is the culmination of a Self-Study process at Villanova that has been underway for more than two and a half years. The peer evaluation team will read our self-study report and assess whether Villanova continues to meet the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s (MSCHE) Requirements for Affiliation and Standards for Accreditation. I encourage each of you to read the report in preparation for the team’s visit. The self-study report and related information about the accreditation process can be found on Villanova’s Middle States webpage. I am extremely thankful for the hundreds of Villanovans, led by a Steering Committee of 25, who have contributed to this important endeavor.

Peter M Donohue OSA signature

January 25, 2021

Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

Villanova’s Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Self-Study Accreditation process continues, and a draft of the Self-Study Report will be shared later this week for our community to review. Virtual community forums will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 10, and Thursday, Feb. 11, for anyone who wishes to provide feedback directly. Feedback will also be collected via a response form on the Middle States website.

The self-study was developed by seven working groups consisting of more than 140 Villanova students, faculty and staff, led by a 25-member Steering Committee. Together, they examined how well our academic programs and services fulfill our mission, accomplish the University's goals and meet the Commission's Standards—paying particular attention to student learning and achievement. Upon completion of the self-study process, the Steering Committee will summarize findings from the working groups, inclusive of community feedback, and generate a Final Self-Study Report.

The self-study process concludes with an appraisal by a team from peer institutions. These peer evaluators will review the Self-Study Report and visit Villanova from Sept. 26 to 29, 2021, to assess whether Villanova meets the MSCHE Requirements for Affiliation and Standards for Accreditation, with the ultimate goal of reaffirming our accreditation status.

I would like to thank the Steering Committee members and the working groups, as well as all those who have participated in this important process to date, and I encourage everyone to review the report, as community feedback is a critical component of the self-study process. For more information and to access the report, please visit the Villanova Middle States website.

Father Peter signature

October 16, 2020

Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

For the past 18 months, nearly 150 Villanovans having been working on compiling a Self-Study Report for our decennial reaffirmation of accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). I want to express my gratitude to the Working Group Chairs and their group members, the members of the Steering Committee, and the Self-Study Leadership Team for all of the work that has gone into drafting this report. I also want to acknowledge the many Villanovans who have contributed to this effort by sharing data, information and expertise, being interviewed by working groups, completing surveys, and more. This has been a tremendous community-wide effort.

The accreditation process was set to culminate in April 2021, with a visit to Villanova by a Peer Evaluation Team, led by Father Joseph McShane, S.J., the President of Fordham University. However, this visit has now been postponed until September 26-29, 2021, as a result of  COVID-19. While we are eager to welcome evaluation team members to Villanova, we elected to accept MSCHE’s offer to postpone the visit in order to help ensure the health and well-being of all those involved in the accreditation process. Postponing the visit by a few months also increases the likelihood that the visit will take place in person, rather than virtually, thus affording us the opportunity to put our best foot forward in welcoming the evaluation team to our campus.

Given the delay in the Peer Evaluation Team visit, we have adjusted our schedule for sharing a draft report with the University community for review and feedback. A draft report will be shared in early 2021 with virtual townhall meetings scheduled for February to collect feedback. Details on these townhalls will be forthcoming. You will also have the opportunity to provide feedback via our Middle States Self-Study webpage. I look forward to your active participation in this next phase of our effort. Father McShane will make a preliminary, virtual visit to Villanova in early April following the completion of our community review of the report.

Again, I thank all those who have contributed to this important effort in various ways. Your assistance in this process is representative of Villanovans’ desire to step up and assist the University as we strive collectively, in the words of Saint Augustine, “to become what we are not yet.”    

Peter M Donohue OSA signature

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA


February 7 and 11, 2020

On February 7 and 11, the Self-Study Leadership Team led two forums for our community to learn more about the Middle States Self-Study process and ask questions. Below are the slides used in the presentation. Please feel free to contact the Self-Study Leadership Team with additional questions by emailing:


Villanova University Middle States Self-Study Community Forum February 11, 2020

July 2019

Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

In Fall 2018, Villanova took initial steps in preparing for a self-study process seeking reaffirmation of the University’s accreditation with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). MSCHE, one of seven regional accreditors recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, is a non-governmental membership association that accredits more than 500 colleges and universities. The self-study process, an in-depth analysis that takes place every eight years, requires Villanova to review our programs, services, and operations with respect to Middle States’ standards for accreditation and requirements of affiliation as well as our own institutional mission.  The self-study process will result in a report documenting our strengths and offering recommendations for self-improvement, followed by a visit to Villanova by a Peer Evaluation Team in spring 2021.

We began the self-study process with the formation of the Leadership Team, comprised of tri-chairs—Dr. Jerusha Conner, Associate Professor in Education and Counseling; Kevin Grubb, Executive Director of the University Career Center and Assistant Vice Provost for Professional Development; and Dr. James Trainer, Associate Vice President and Executive Director of the Office of Planning and Institutional Research—and the self-study coordinator, Stephen Sheridan, Director of Accountability, Accreditation, and Assessment Services.  Working with me, the Leadership Team established a steering committee with 24 members, which then helped form seven working groups—with more than 100 Villanovans all together—working on the self-study process.

An initial draft of a self-study design was completed this past spring and shared with Dr. Kushnood Haq, Vice President of Institutional Field Relations at the Middle States, who serves as MSCHE’s liaison to Villanova.  Dr. Haq visited our campus in late April and met with me, the Provost, the Leadership Team, the Steering Committee, and representatives from the student body as well as faculty and staff. His feedback on our design was both constructive and positive. The Leadership Team then incorporated Dr. Haq’s suggestions into our design and submitted it for final approval, which we have now received.

While there is still much to do, as the working groups prepare to begin their work in earnest at the start of the fall 2019 semester, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation at this time to all those who have helped us reach this important milestone in the process as well as to those whose efforts will support this process in the coming years.

For more information about MSCHE and the self-study process, please visit



Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD signature

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD
Villanova University


If you have any comments or questions pertaining to Middle States accreditation or the self-study process, we would like to hear from you.