ADA – East Central University President Dr. Katricia Pierson has been named to the Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent corporation founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.
The HLC, based in Chicago, accredits nearly a thousand colleges and universities. The Board of Trustees is the governing body of HLC and is made up of a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 21 members. One of every seven trustees is a public representative, and the others are broadly representative of HLC institutions. Pierson’s term as trustee begins September 1.
“It is an honor to have been nominated to serve and I look forward to working with the other trustees,” Pierson said. “Accreditation of colleges and universities provides the assurance that quality education is occurring at our institutions of higher education. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Commission’s work.”
As a trustee, Pierson will participate in important governing decisions. The board decides the official action on all recommendations for member institutions, including granting or denying an institution candidacy or initial accreditation; issuing or withdrawing status from an accredited institution; issuing or withdrawing a sanction; issuing or removing a show-cause order; and/or approving or denying a change of control, structure or organization.
Pierson’s involvement with the HLC began in 2012, when she was assistant vice president for Academic Affairs at ECU. She was accepted that year as a reviewer in the HLC’s Peer Corps, a group of more than a thousand volunteers that share their knowledge of – and direct experience with – higher education.
Pierson became ECU’s ninth president in 2017, the first woman appointed to the position in its 112-year history. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in English from the University of Arkansas and her bachelor’s degree in Journalism and English Secondary Education from the University of Wyoming.