Accreditors Now Find Themselves Under Critical Review

Accreditors Now Find Themselves Under Critical Review 1

Lexey Swall for The Chronicle

Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, objects to lumping accreditation in with all the ills of higher education. She defends the continuing value of the process: "Just because a new idea comes up doesn't mean we should change everything."

Belle S. Wheelan is not someone you would typically associate with the status quo. An African-American woman, she has been breaking down barriers of race and gender for nearly all of her 40-year career in higher education, including as president of Northern Virginia Community College and, later, as Virginia's secretary of education.

But for the past seven years, Ms. Wheelan has led the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges,