How many external reviewers will be selected to review our program and how are they selected?

The Vice Provost for Academic & Space Planning or an assigned delegate assembles the committee with input from the department/school, the cognizant Dean, and PROC. The number of extramural reviewers is roughly 10% of the ladder faculty, with a three-person minimum. More reviewers may be added depending on the range and number of subfields in the program.

May the department/school see the charge letter to the External Review Committee?

Yes, with the understanding that questions in the letter are posed to the ERC to elicit thoughtful, outside perspectives based on their professional experience and best practices at their home institution. Posing the questions should, in no way, be construed to mean that PROC or the dean disapproves of the unit’s current practices.

What expenses are incurred by the unit under review?

The unit is responsible for the cost of printing and binding the self-studies, lunch on the full-day visit of the external review committee, and significant cost overruns, if any, for the dinner on that day or the previous day. The Vice Provost for Academic & Space Planning pays for five faculty, plus the unit Chair to attend the dinner; if more faculty attend or if the cost per person exceeds university guidelines by a significant amount, the unit pays.

How many copies of the self-study are we required to provide?

We require 31, 32, or 33 bound copies depending on the number of extramural reviewers (3, 4, or 5). The bound copies should be double-sided and the coversheet should be colored (surprise us with something other than blue!), 65-pound card stock.  In addition, we ask for one copy transmitted electronically.

What if I’m not sure which internal and external peers to recommend?

OPA can do preliminary analysis with a variety of internal peers to help narrow the selection if necessary. There is time for deliberation before writing of the data summary begins. Once the peers have been finalized, however, it can be difficult to back-track, so careful selection at the outset is important.

Close communication between the Chair and OPA throughout the writing of the data summary process is encouraged. OPA works diligently to contextualize all data provided appropriately and to reflect each program’s unique components and history as accurately as possible.

If I have questions about the data provided or feel that there need to be factual corrections made to the summary, what do I do?

There is time for Chairs to edit the OPA summary once it is received. OPA works diligently to accommodate any factual corrections needed. It is best, however, to determine needed edits within 2-3 weeks of receipt of the report.  It should be understood that the data analyst cannot revise data reported from a central source.  Units should report the most current data in their self-study.

How long does it take to produce a report?

Depending on the number of departments under review, it typically takes four to six weeks for OPA to complete the summary of central data once it begins. Reports for Schools can sometimes take longer.

Who receives the OPA report?

The completed summary of central data is provided to unit Chairs and other personnel selected by the Chair and the Vice Provost for Academic & Space Planning and immediate office. The Vice Provost for Academic & Space Planning will provide copies to PROC and to external reviewers who receive the OPA summary along with the unit’s self-study.  Units do not need to reproduce the data summary as an appendix to their self-study; data summaries are provided separately by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic & Space Planning.


Download the complete Program Review Guide for reviews starting before Spring 2016.  

For reviews starting in/after Spring 2016, use the revised Program Review Guide (2016).