Academic Freedom, Institutional Autonomy, and Quality Assurance: A Conversation with CHEA

Cynthia Jackson Hammond Photo

Our host Dr. Amy Dykens sits down with Dr. Cynthia Jackson Hammond, a passionate advocate for academic quality and institutional autonomy in higher education. Dr. Jackson Hammond is a distinguished figure in the field with her extensive work in support of institutional autonomy as president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CHEA is the only national organization in the United States focused exclusively on higher education accreditation and quality assurance, recognizing accrediting organizations and advocating for institutions.

They discuss the federal and state legislative impact on higher education and the significance of CHEA recognition on accreditation. Dr. Jackson Hammond highlights the future of higher education and accreditation including AI, DEI, and facilitating open discussion and safe harbors.

Join as we discuss:

  • The importance of institutional autonomy
  • Ensuring academic quality and student success
  • The significance of engagement and advocacy
  • Creating dialogue to encourage innovation

Read Dr. Jackson Hammond’s full bio below!

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Dr. Cynthia Jackson Hammond


Dr. Cynthia Jackson Hammond became Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) President on August 1, 2020.

Dr. Jackson Hammond, Ed.D. has been a member of the higher education community for more than 30 years. Her professional career has included tenured and administrative positions in universities throughout various regions of the United States: University of Louisiana Monroe, California State University Dominguez Hills; Delaware State University; University of North Carolina Charlotte, Winston-Salem State University; and Coppin State University. Most recently, Dr. Jackson Hammond completed her tenure as president of Central State University in Ohio.

Dr. Jackson Hammond has spent the majority of her career in higher education administration, serving as a president, provost, and dean, as well as a director of TRIO programs. She has served on national boards of directors, including the Thurgood Marshall College Fund; NCAA Division II Presidents Council; the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; and she also served on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation Board of Directors. She has appeared multiple times on Capitol Hill, including providing testimony on the status of 1890 Land-Grant institutions.

She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University, her Master’s degree in Education and an Education Specialist degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and her Doctorate in Education in dual cognate areas, curriculum and instruction and student personnel services from Grambling State University.

Dr. Jackson Hammond serves on the Fulbright Council for International Exchange Scholars (CIES) Advisory Board, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) Council for Student Success, and as an AGB Commissioner for Higher Education Strategic Assets. Dr. Jackson Hammond also was appointed as a Commissioner for the Biden Administration’s Presidential Scholars program.

Dr. Jackson Hammond is a sought-after thought leader on accreditation, multicultural diversity, and inclusion. Her academic discipline is Education and Higher Education Administration. She is an ardent advocate for quality assurance and transparency in higher education and is committed to the advancement of higher education success, equity, and integrity in higher education.

Podcast Info

Host: Dr. Amy Dykens, CEO, Weave

Guest: Dr. Cynthia Jackson Hammond, President, CHEA

Episode #: 17