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Sustaining UOG’s accreditation is key to delivering high-quality Guam workforce



By Anita Borja Enriquez

The University of Guam serves as that steward of place to deliver equitable and inclusive public value through its academic programs, research findings, and extension and outreach services.


Every part of our community has benefited in some way through our interns, graduates, research, capstone projects, forums, publications, training, conferences, and an array of services.


Our graduates can be found in just about every workplace in Guam and throughout our region, including in leadership positions and the armed forces. When UOG students graduate, they can be confident in knowing that the education they received and the diploma they earned are of high quality. Our University and our programs have undergone a rigorous accreditation review process that ensures that what we offer is aligned with some of the best academic and research programs in the country. The University of Guam is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), a U.S. regional accrediting body. The University has been continuously accredited since 1959 and will be completing a continuous 16-year accreditation term in 2024. In its last report, the commission commended UOG’s “strong fiscal stewardship.” Our accreditation status ensures students continue to have direct access to federal financial aid programs to afford college.


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Upcoming accreditation review When the commission visited in 2016, our general operations appropriation was $30.6 million. When the accreditation team reviews us again this year, it will note an FY 2023 appropriation of $23.6 million, a decrease of 23 percent — or 35 percent factoring in inflation – over the last five years. A funding deficiency ultimately impacts our operational needs and subsequently impacts the academic support that is required through its personnel, the classrooms, the labs, and the rest of the resources that are necessary to support academic quality. With this severe decline in appropriations, it would be difficult to argue that the base appropriation for general operations has sufficiently met academic quality and student support needs. Accreditation is not the sole responsibility of UOG. Because of the University's land-grant status, this responsibility is shared with our community and our elected leaders to benefit the public at large. ADVERTISEMENT

Requesting $42 million For FY 2024, UOG is requesting $42 million for general operations to recover from prior years' funding deficiencies and fully support quality education for our students and the professional services and offerings for our community. This amount will provide the funding we need next year to begin much-needed repairs of facilities that have been subjected to years of deferred maintenance, support academy quality and student success, provide fair and competitive pay for faculty and staff, and fill needed positions. To assure financial sustainability, the University needs the latitude and flexibility to optimally support students' experiences and quality education. This includes support of academic excellence through qualified faculty and support staff, required labs and resources, and safe learning spaces. Sufficient budget and tuition revenue enable the University to achieve these financial sustainability requirements to support the academic enterprise. From college students to professionals Future employers and graduate school doctoral programs outside of UOG can be assured that a UOG diploma represents excellence and quality in academic standards and student experience. Our Tritons are nurses, teachers, social workers, artists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and also public servants.


Our Tritons are drivers and proprietors of our island and region's social, cultural, and economic fabrics. They are taught to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, effective communicators, resourceful researchers, and team players.


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UOG is intent on transforming the lives of our students and has achieved this, particularly for our island's first-generation students, providing them and their families with upward social and economic mobility. All students become agents of change and contributors to the progress and advancement of our communities. UOG’s mission of Ina, Deskubre, Setbe — To Enlighten, To Discover, To Serve — can’t be done alone. As the premier U.S. regionally accredited institution of higher learning for Guam and the region, we need the support and engagement of our community and our island leaders to remain accessible and affordable. Biba UOG! Anita Borja Enriquez is the Senior Vice President and Provost at the University of Guam and a WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) Commissioner - Pacific Basin.




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