2004 Northwest Accreditation Review

The Year Before Accreditation

(‘Twas the Night before Christmas)

By Dr. Monica Mize

'Twas the year before Accreditation,
when all through the campus
Not a faculty member was stirring, not even an administrator;
The self study was put on the bookcase with care,
In hopes that the site team soon would be there.

The steering committee members were nestled all snug at their desks,
while visions of feedback forms danced in their heads;
And me in my 'sweat suit, and Kathleen in her dress, 
had just settled in to plan what was next.

When out by the Bell Tower there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the desk to see what was the matter.

Away to Kathleen’s window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a university van, and the site team visitors, 
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Commissioner Northwest.

More rapid than eagles the site team they came,
And the commissioner whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
'Now, Team Member 1 now, Team Member 2 now, Team Member 3 and 4!
On, Team Member 5! On Team Member 6! On, Team Member 7 and 8!
To the Student Union Ballroom! To the table of laptops!
Now read away! Read away! Read away all!'

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the ballroom they ran,
With pockets full of black markers, and reprimands.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the hallway
the prancing and pawing of the steering committee members.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Out of the Ballroom the Commissioner came with a bound.

He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all covered with paperclips and diet coke;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
A bundle of exhibits he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled!
His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And we laughed when we saw him, in spite of ourselves;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the pages; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, to the President he rose;
He jumped into the van, to his team gave a whistle,
and they all drove away like we’d really miss’em.

But we all heard him exclaim, ere they drove out of sight,
"Accreditation to all - No Rejoinders in Site."