UPDATE: After this post was posted on April 4, 2017, the Academy finally updated the reaccreditation page on its website to provide the following information:
- March 29-31, 2017- MSCHE Evaluation Team Visited USMMA
- March 1, 2017 – USMMA submitted its Monitoring Report to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education on time.
That’s it. Still no indication to the stakeholders as to the progress made towards achieving compliance with the MSCHE requirements. Look at the eight bullet points at the end of our original post (below). The Academy has only answered one of the eight. So no, it still doesn’t qualify as an update. And the update counter will continue to count from June 30, 2016.
282 days (as of April 8, 2017) and still waiting.
The Academy’s home page was updated over the last day or so to include the following link:
USMMA Reaccreditation – USMMA submitted its Monitoring Report to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education on time on March 1, 2017
So the Academy has finally decided to confirm what KPS confirmed for you on March 27, 2017.
Unfortunately, the link still takes you to the June 30, 2016 update, so there is no further “update” provided by the Academy.
Here’s the metric by which a real update should be measured, as we indicated the day after the monitoring report was due:
- Was a report submitted on time?
- Did it address all of the MSCHE requirements?
- Does the Academy believe that as of March 1, 2017 it has met even one of the requirements?
- What steps is the Academy taking to address the MSCHE requirements?
- What more needs to be done?
- What personnel are assigned to the effort?
- Do those personnel have the resources (including time) that they need to succeed?
- Who is in charge of the effort?
Until we get a real update — with real information — the “MSCHE Update countdown” on this web page will continue to count up from June 30, 2016. At the time this is posted, that makes it 278 days.
In addition to cited warnings, which are in the full control of the Academy to correct, there are warning areas that require MARAD approval and change. These are the one’s that concern me the most. Will MARAD, under NEW LEADERSHIP, ensure, and assure, the USMMA Midshipmen, and all USMMA Stakeholders, that they will address the MSCHE Warnings in time?
I’m afraid that MARAD has no real interest in investing in KP. In response to a letter I wrote to Secretary Chao outlining my ideas to improve KP, the response signed by Mr. Szabat was very disappointing. I suggested that they develop a true strategic plan for the institution, not a myopic five-year plan (no wonder they are under funded and resourced), a vision of what KP 2050 would look like. Instead I get the typical bureaucratic apparatchik answer that included this interesting sentence:
The planning process will further consider the Academy’s strategic goals within the context of its limited personnel and financial resources, so that the cost of our goals do not exceed the means we have by which to accomplish them.
To me it seems they moved heaven and earth to get funding for training ships, but can’t lift a finger for their own Academy! Somebody needs to have a vision like”By 2050, KP will be an internationally renowned Center of Maritime Excellence, defined by cutting edge technology, renowned faculty, a source of continuing education for America’s maritime community. You have to look farther than five years to build a coalition, fund and otherwise resource the dream. I’m beginning to think MARAD would wish KP would go away.
Another astounding response to my suggestion that they negotiate better cellphone coverage on campus. MARAD’s response:
The Academy has been in discussion with Verizon Wireless to add a cell phone tower on campus, which would improve cell phone coverage. Unfortunately, the city of Kings Point is very strict about aesthetics of its community design Verizon has had difficulty negotiating with the city to obtain approval for the tower. Even though the Academy is Federal property and not subject to State regulations, it does strive to be a good neighbor of the local community, and it has not opposed the city’s restriction against building a cell phone tower on campus. If Verizon does at some future time receive permission to install a cell phone tower on campus, the Academy is willing to accommodate the structure.
Are you kidding me?! This is an institution that is STEM based, right? But Midshipmen don’t have very good cell phone coverage. Screw the city and let Verizon build the tower and add the rent into KP’s coffers. And if you are so bloody concerned about SASH, you better hope a Midshipman’s phone can reach 911 and not get out of coverage signal during an emergency or God forbid a rape.
There are four Federal Service Academy’s and then there is Kings Point. . .
Sadly, I believe the above to be true as well. Thank you Parent of Class of 2018 for reaching out to Secretary Chao. The response is very discouraging. And that is an excellent point about cell phone coverage. If they can’t even call 911, then what……
They are moving heaven and earth to fund training ships because these additional funds will in all likelihood be outside of their normal overall yearly budget. Once additional funding is secured, and the ships built, they can be “resource shared” with KP as part of a fundamental transformation of the USMMA’s sea year program to training ships (with perhaps a limited “capstone” commercial sea experience). This would likely significantly reduce operating costs of maintaining a full commercial sea year program (no need to coordinate and transport Mids all over God’s creation to their billets). And, because of the Coast Guard’s curious extra weighting of training ship sea days (1.5 day on a training ship vs 1.0 days on a real working vessel) it frees up as much as 100 or more academic days for more liberal arts and “leadership” curriculum that perhaps aligns more with the other service academies and the SMA’s. Of course, in doing so they remove the one singular advantage and major draw KP has over the other SMA’s, but to the bean counters and the academic social engineers pushing diversity and inclusion above all else, this matters little.
Parent of 2018, and parent of 2019. Ultimately, it seems, all issues stem from leadership and governance. Wasn’t that the area of focus identified by MSCHE, “GOVERNANCE and LEADERSHIP” which resulted in FIVE Warnings? It wasn’t SA/SH, per se.
There is a complete disregard for the Midshipmen, the Parents, the Alumni and all by the same arrogant, dismissive individuals. Two are gone and two are remaining, and they have to much power and know it.
Time that the taxpayers and parents push for action, maybe a federal class action against Helis, Szbat, and MARAD any and all who have hurt this academy, the curriculum and Midshipmen.
People can only take so much, and then time to take the sword out of the sheath. They have destroyed the USMMA and have no respect for the Midshipmen, so maybe time we don’t respect them and name them in a federal class action.
Helis arrogance needs to be ended- he works for the American people, that means us.
Well there you go. Write a letter to Sec. Chao and it gets filtered by Szabat. Drain the swamp!
Actually that is normal channels, the boss gets the letter and sends it to the appropriate staff section to answer. Now that I have the answer, I will once again write Secretary Chao with my counterpoints and cc, my Senators and Congressman.