America’s unelected accrediting organizations possess broad power over our nation’s higher education institutions and professional licensure—power unchecked by any meaningful public oversight and power increasingly used to stifle any challenge to the education establishment’s monopoly and to advance a radical political agenda. Our colleges and universities cannot be reformed unless the accrediting organizations are as well. American policymakers must act boldly at both the federal and state levels to reform the abuses that have become endemic in accreditation and licensure. The accrediting organizations’ stranglehold over America’s colleges and professions must be removed. The NAS endorses 10 principles and priorities of accreditation policy reform, to be enacted at both the federal and the state levels.
NACIQI Nomination Reform
The Education Department’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) is responsible for federal oversight of accrediting organizations. We have considered drafting model legislation to amend 20 U.S. Code § 1011c - National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which governs the selection of NACIQI members. We have for the present decided that NACIQI reform ought to be conducted by more careful nomination of NACIQI members by federal policymakers, to ensure that NACIQI includes as many dedicated accreditation reformers as possible. Should such a tactic fail, we would reconsider whether model legislation should be drafted to reform NACIQI selection procedures.
Accreditation Scope Act
Reduce the scope of accreditation to assessing fiscal health and institutional transparency.
Accreditation Freedom Act
Remove accrediting organizations’ monopolies and allow states to create their own accrediting organizations.
Accreditation Innovation Act
Remove the institutional bias against new accrediting organizations and new institutions of higher education.
Accreditation Nondiscrimination Act
Prohibit accrediting organizations from imposing discriminatory policies on institutions of higher education.
Accreditation Depoliticization Act
Prohibit accrediting organizations from imposing politicized policies on institutions of higher education.
Accreditation Religious Freedom Act
Prohibit accrediting organizations from violating the religious mission of institutions of higher education.
Accreditation Autonomy Act
Authorize state policymakers to give instructions to university officials on how to vote in accreditation organizations.
Accreditor Autonomy Resolution
Begin the process by which several states can undertake a deliberate process of preparing a replacement accrediting organization.
Licensure Nondiscrimination Act
Depoliticize and prevent group-identity discrimination in every aspect of professional licensure.