Da sede do império não vêm só bombas de fragmentação. Financiado no arranque com dinheiros do petróleo, existe nos EUA o Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP), que é ao mesmo tempo uma agência de certificação da qualidade e um programa de promoção da qualidade.
O esquema baseia-se num "System Portfolio", que as universidades interessadas devem compilar e tornar público e que é depois avaliado. O portfolio é organizado em função de cinco critérios, que a universidade deve demonstrar que cumpre:
- Criterion One – Mission and Integrity. The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.
- Criterion Two – Preparing for the Future. The organization’s allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate its capacity to fulfill the mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.
- Criterion Three – Student Learning and Effective Teaching. The organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.
- Criterion Four: Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge, The organization promotes a life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff, and students by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice, and social responsibility in ways consistent with its mission.
- Criterion Five: Engagement and Service. As called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies and serves them in ways both value.