Monthly Accreditation Forum March 28

Las Vegas, N.M. – Highlands University’s monthly accreditation forum March 28 focused on fiscal and budget matters.

“The composite financial index, or CFI, shows the fiscal health of the university,” said Brandon Kempner, who is directing the university’s Higher Learning Commission accreditation and presented the forum. “The HLC requires target CFI levels.”

Kempner and Sam Minner, the university’s president, are co-chairing the steering committee to resolve the HLC concerns.

“We reported a 2.37 CFI just this week to the Higher Learning Commission so we’re on solid ground now with this financial index,” Minner said.

Kempner said university reserves are also showing positive growth.

Keeping capital construction projects on time and within budget was another discussion item.

“Sylvia Baca, facilities and planning director, prepared a new policy for building projects based upon the success of the Trolley Building project completed in 2016,” Kempner said. “The policy is already approved by the university’s executive team. It is being discussed by the Faculty Senate and Staff Senate. After that, it will be sent to the Board of Regents for consideration.”

Kempner said Highlands has implemented a new strategic budgeting process.

“We’re budgeting now against our mission, vision and strategic goals,” Minner said. “This is the way you move toward excellence.”

Vice President of Finance and Administration Max Baca’s webpage provides extensive details about the university’s strategic budgeting process at www.nmhu.edu/finance-and-administration/

Information about Highlands’ strategic plans and budget requests are on the university’s accreditation website at www.nmhu.edu/accreditation-information/ Use the evidence archive link.

Videos of the monthly accreditation forums are posted on the university’s accreditation website. In addition, all the forums are broadcast in real time using a live-streaming technology called Zoom with the university’s statewide centers, as well as others unable to attend the forums in person.

The Higher Learning Commission is Highlands University’s accreditor. On Aug. 31, 2016, the HLC placed Highlands on probation, noting areas that needed improvement.

Highlands is still accredited with the the Higher Learning Commission while the university works to address the concerns the HLC identified.

An accreditation FAQs page for Highlands is online at www.nmhu.edu/accreditation-faqs/.

The Higher Learning Commission accredits approximately 1,000 colleges and universities that have a home base in one of the 19 states that stretch from Virginia to Arizona. The HLC is a private nonprofit regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Faculty, staff, students, parents, and others from the general public with questions regarding the HLC’s work should contact the Higher Learning Commission by email at info@hlcommission.org or 312-263-0456.

For specific questions about Highlands’ accreditation, please contact us at hlcinfo@nmhu.edu