IV.1 Introduction to the appeal process

The American Library Association (ALA) is an accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), whose standards require “appropriate and fair policies and procedures that include effective checks and balances” (CHEA Recognition Standard 12D). ALA is also a member of the Association for Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) and follows its Code of Good Practice. The Code states that a member of ASPA must exhibit “a system of checks and balances in its standards development and accreditation procedures. [A member must avoid] relationships and practices that would provoke questions about its overall objectivity and integrity.”

The ALA appeal process, adopted in 2003 by the ALA Executive Board, provides a system of checks and balances to protect the integrity and fairness of the process for the institution, the Committee on Accreditation (COA), and the ALA.