HLC Quality Initiative Project Mission Statement


Our project at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) is dedicated to vastly improving the collegiality, mutual support and understanding, and level(s) of collaboration within the CIA community itself, toward solidifying and rendering more robust the communication flows at the college between and across all faculty and staff.

In order to investigate collegiality, one must first adequately define the term. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary (2015), collegiality is defined as the cooperative relationship between colleagues. In any workplace environment, these cooperative relationships have the tendency to remain within individual departments, creating unconnected silos across an organization. Within higher education, these silos result in a narrowed view of the overall educational experiences of students, interrupt organizational communication, decrease the way community is created, and detract from an overall positive work environment. These factors contribute negatively to the way we interact with and respect the roles each of us play in the larger organization.

The Higher Learning Commission’s Quality Initiative steering committee at CIA believes that initiatives centered on how our professional community supports, collaborates, and communicates with each other will not only satisfy a requirement of the HLC, but will create a truly transformative experience that connects, if not eliminates, the silos that interfere with our pursuit of a holistic educational experience for our students and preferred working environment.

The work of this initiative will begin in earnest following the approval of this proposal from the Higher Learning Commission. Initial work will include identifying projects as priorities and approaching appropriate people in our community to assist in carrying out the work. The steering committee is dedicated to seeing the end goal of improving the overall collegiality through specific programmatic endeavors as attainable by the end of the allotted time.


Click the link to read the most recent HLC QI Update!

The HLC Project Committee has been selected from areas across the Institute and for their unique perspectives to the CIA community. Chances are that one of the committee members is someone that you work with directly or are colleagues with. As the process for prioritizing and selecting activities proceeds, please feel free to share any ideas or thoughts with any of the representatives on the committee. You may also contact the committee chair, Matthew Smith at mjsmith@cia.edu.
Our hope is that together, we will be able to strengthen the CIA community, promote greater collegiality between all who serve students, and find innovative and consistent ways to communicate with each other.
Matthew Smith, Chair
Committee Members
Michael Anderson
Colleen Sweeney
Barbara Chira
Jessica Moore
Sally Palmer
Laura Ponikvar
Eric Reitz
Lisa Schumann
Barry Underwood