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Institutions whose members are willing to describe their activities and actions to each other and to organizations that provide accreditation may be said to be engaged in institutional self-study. Such accounts may incidentally influence practices.

Institutional self-evaluation is more intrusive in that it entails explanation of activities and actions, thus making the members of the institution and the institution more vulnerable to those making decisions about the distribution of scarce resources. The politics of the institution are embodied in the preconditions for the evaluator and should, as far as possible, be taken into account when writing and negotiating the self-evaluation contract or agreement. Reputation, tenure, promotion, and the accountability relationships within an institution may become challenged, yet vulnerability is a condition in the quest to find ...

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