Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bluff or ABET

KBTX notes that the Qatar campus just received accreditation from ABET... but Murano claimed this as an accomplishment in February:
Engineering programs at Texas A&M's campus in the Middle East have earned a high honor, but it's one the former university president seems to have claimed had already happened.

A&M announced Tuesday that the four programs based in Qatar have been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, or ABET.

“We are pleased that Texas A&M’s Qatar campus has been accredited by ABET, which validates something that we have known for a long time — our Qatar engineering graduates are of the highest caliber and will be a part of the next generation of Aggie leaders,” said A&M Interim President Bowen Loftin in a press release Tuesday.

But the accreditation that came Tuesday was something former Texas A&M president Elsa Murano claimed had happened under her watch.

In the now-infamous self-evaluation which led to low marks from A&M System Chancellor Mike McKinney, Murano wrote as a major accomplishment that she "successfully obtained accreditation for our four engineering programs at our campus in Qatar from ABET. This opens the door for the establishment of a full-fledged graduate program and adds great credibility and prestige to our Qatar campus and its graduates."

Chancellor McKinney noted, among other things, that Murano had poor honesty and integrity, and sources with knowledge of the Murano evaluation tell News 3 her statement on ABET accreditation was a factor in the divide that eventually led to Murano resigning the presidency.
Vision 1920 understands how the Chancellor would find this troublesome. How could Ex-President Murano predict the ABET accreditation that would not happen for another 6 months. Just because the ABET site visit was completed (pdf) by November 2008:
Dr. Bennett added that the ABET accreditation process was just completed at the Texas A&M University in Qatar; the University
just graduated their first engineering class last year.
and TAMU would have already received the evaluation committees report and had a chance to respond to any concerns. In her February 24 report to the Chancellor, Murano had no business relying on these things, or the news release from the engineering program referred to here:
CORRECTION: March 24, 2009

The original story (February 13, 2009) did not accurately reflect the current status of the ABET accreditation process at Texas A&M University at Qatar. The original headline, “Texas A&M at Qatar celebrates ABET accreditation,” should have read, “Texas A&M thanks faculty for helping prepare Qatar program for accreditation process.” Changes to the text for clarity have been made; the complete corrected text is below. Texas A&M Engineering Communications sincerely regrets any ambiguities or inaccuracies reflected in the original story.
This mendacious behavior explains the "QATAR" in the Chancellor's handwritten notes (pdf). It couldn't have had anything to do with other rumors that have been flying.

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