Dal governors concerned about accreditation issues

Dalhousie University’s board of governors expressed concern Tuesday that its other professional schools might face the same accreditation issues as its medical school.

The university’s board of governors discussed a private report, titled Report on Current University Accreditation Processes, about the school’s current accreditation process. Members spent about 15 minutes asking questions about the report, focusing on the faculties of health professionals and engineering.

The report was prepared in the wake of the medical school’s two-year probation, which began on Oct 15, 2009.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education, a group that sets international medical education standards, found problems with the program's curriculum and administration.

Because the report was prepared exclusively for the board of governors, the university wouldn’t release it to the public.

Joshua Leon, the dean of Dalhousie’s engineering faculty, says that while concerns have been raised about the program there have been no real problems with accreditation.

“We’ve done everything they’ve identified as a possible problem,” says Leon.

When Engineering Canada, the organization that accredits Canadian engineering programs, last audited Dalhousie, it identified three possible problems. One was aging facilities for the program, another was aging faculty, and the last was a lack of documentation of the number of working engineers in Nova Scotia.

Leon says the issues have all been addressed since the audit, and noted the faculty has risen to 88 members from 82.

In fact, the accreditation shows that Dalhousie is doing much better than most Canadian Engineering schools, Leon said.

Engineers Canada recently rated Dalhousie a V3, which means the school is evaluated every three years.

Only 30 per cent of engineering schools in Canada have the same rating. Most have a lower V1 rating.

Leon says the engineering issues are “like night and day” when compared with Dalhousie's medical school probation.

“We will continue on for another 100 years," he said.

The faculty of health professionals couldn’t comment on the report.

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