Academic Program Review

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 the Program Review Oversight Committee (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 External Review Committee (ERC) to elicit thoughtful, outside perspectives based on their professional experience and best practices at their home institution. The questions are not prescriptive, nor should they 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 and snacks 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. 

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

We require 15 or 16 bound copies depending on the number of extramural reviewers. The bound copies should be double-sided and the coversheet should be colored, 65-pound card stock.  In addition, we ask for one copy transmitted electronically.

What if I’m not sure which internal and external peer programs to recommend for comparison?

The Office of Planning and Analysis (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.

OPA welcomes close communication between their office and the Chair throughout the writing of the data summary process is encouraged. OPA works diligently to contextualize the data 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 data summary 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. OPA can make data available to the unit prior to the completion of the full report.

Who receives the OPA data summary report?

The completed summary of central data is provided to the unit and to all internal and external reviewers. Units should not reproduce the data summary as an appendix to their self-study; data summaries, along with the unit's self-study and the charge letter to the External Review Committee, are provided separately by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic and Space Planning.


For questions about academic program reviews, please contact:

Anya Grant 
Policy Analyst
Academic Program Reviews
California Hall, Room 241