Page 10: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2017)

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ON POINT WITH JOE KEEFE

Kings Point Kings Point

Courtesy USMMA at a Crossroads at a Crossroads

As the United States Merchant Marine Academy recent- ly announced the resumption of its commercial sea year training program, many unanswered questions remain and more importantly, myriad problems unsolved.

oughly concurrent with news themselves (who were painted with the ing that any has taken place in the many pointing out that the academy was (and that the academy’s accredi- broad brush of vague accusations of mis- months since the school received its still is) failing in at least 5 of 14 ‘stan- tation body had ? agged the conduct on board their ? eets). The issue black eye from the Middle States Com- dards’ by which the accreditation body

R school with failing marks in dominated the news emanating from the mission on Higher Education (MSCHE) judges all schools. The MSCHE report ? ve of 14 categories, the school, in June nation’s only federal maritime academy, Accreditation Report. That document also points to serious leadership failures of last year suspended the traditional partially obscuring (some say intention- painted an un? attering portrait of what is at the academy. The academy’s response commercial sea year training program, ally) the larger problem represented by transpiring at the academy – but not nec- to all of this was to discontinue the tra- largely under the guise of ‘solving’ mas- internal curriculum and leadership fail- essarily what might be occurring at sea. ditional training which the school has sive sexual harassment and assault is- ures that landed the school on probation In a separate report (SAGR), it had become known for, without even ? rst sues that were allegedly (and largely) in the ? rst place. been shown that sexual assaults have devising a plan to replace that critical taking place on board commercial, U.S. over time decreased in all of the federal aspect of the curriculum with a viable ? ag vessels. Mind the Gap service academies except Kings Point, substitute. That probably added (at least)

The suspension of the sea year pro- On March 1, the academy will suppos- in particular during the period 2012- one more failing grade to the aforemen- gram enraged alumni, midshipmen, edly report to the accreditation body its 2014. The MSCHE accreditation reports tioned ? ve.

parents and the shipping companies progress on the latter issue(s) – assum- also makes note of this issue, while also The timing of the most recent change 10 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • MARCH 2017

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