Team Report Guidelines

Professor speaks to his class in language lab, CAS
Professor Scott Hartley, wearing protective glasses, talks with students in the lab, CAS

September 2019

After an academic program review site visit is complete, the Review Team should prepare a critical evaluation of the Department/Program's Self–Study and the outcomes of the site visit. The report is due to the divisional Dean within one month of the conclusion of the site visit.

The report will be prepared collaboratively between the internal and external reviewers, with the chair of the Review Team serving as lead editor by assigning writing tasks, combining written sections into a draft, organizing team review and editing of the draft, and seeking team consensus on deriving a final version of the review report. Even though there is only a single report produced by the Review Team, a section for external reviewer comments should be included for each of the major headings of the report, wherein the external review team may provide, without influence from internal reviewers and stakeholders, their explicit views from outside of the university.

Departments/Programs that require external professional accreditation may elect to replace the external review process outlined in this document with their specific professional accreditation process. Internal review of Departmental mission and goals outside the purview of professional accreditation still must be done. The timing of this internal review may coincide with the professional accreditation process or be conducted the year after accreditation at the discretion of the divisional Dean or based on requirements of the accreditation body. If the internal review is subsequent to accreditation, the accreditation report shall be used to provide input in place of an external review team.

Reviewers’ recommendations should proceed from the assumption that no new net resources are available; resources for new initiatives should be acquired through reallocation.

I. Executive Summary

Provide a one–page overview of the review report including a summary of the critique of the three major elements of the Department/Program's Self–Study [Self–Studies are prepared using the "Academic Program Review Department/Program Self–Study Guidelines (September 2019)], outcomes of the site visit, and conclusions of the review team. Include additional, disciplinary–specific conclusions provided by external team members.

II. Activities and Performance Since the Last Review

Critique the strengths and weaknesses of the Department/Program in relationship to each criterion and its metrics outlined in Section B (Faculty, Scholarly and Creative Activity, Teaching and Advising, Professional Service, Student Outcomes, Undergraduate/Graduate Connections, Broader Impacts, and Viability).

Please use the following questions as a guide to the critique:

  • Is the scholarship of the faculty of high quality? How does the Department/Program compare to similar types of institutions? How could it be improved?

  • Does the Department/Program generate external funds? How does the track record of funding compare to similar institutions? Are there areas of external support that the Department/Program should be exploring?

  • Is the current undergraduate curriculum appropriately configured to achieve excellence? If not, what are the concerns associated with the curriculum and the barriers to achieving excellence?

  • Does the Department/Program offer a viable major or majors? Does the Department/Program do a good job of recruiting students and in explaining the value of the degree? What changes, if any, should be made to strengthen the major(s)?

  • Does the Department/Program offer study abroad options? Does the Department/Program identify SLOs appropriate for a meaningful study abroad experience? Does the Department/Program appropriately evaluate the SLOs? How could study abroad be improved?

  • Does the Department/Program have partnerships either across campus or outside the university that serve to enhance its educational or research efforts? How could this area be improved?

  • Does the Department/Program have external partnerships for experiential learning, research/creative opportunities, or internships? How could this area be improved?

  • If the Department/Program offers a graduate degree , evaluate the appropriateness of the graduate curriculum, student outcomes in the program, and the relationship between the graduate and undergraduate programs.

  • For graduate programs, discuss the quality of students, recruiting strategy, external support for graduate assistants, and learning and program outcomes (e.g., job placement, publications).

Critique the Department/Program's approach to dealing with potential challenges and opportunities that are influenced by activities and issues outside of the university such as availability of faculty and student talent, availability of external resources and funding, impact of societal and economic issues, and impact of regulatory, legal or political influences.

At the end of this section, include a sub–section entitled "Additional Impressions from External Reviewers" to allow specific, disciplinary input from the external members of the review team.

III. Strategic Plan

Critique the Department/Program's Strategic Plan. In relation to the 2019 University Strategic Plan goals, does the Strategic Plan align the Department/Program's priorities with appropriate disciplinary, Divisional, and University goals over the next 5–plus years? Does it address realistic financial and human resource opportunities and constraints? Does it provide a mechanism for continuous improvement to ensure excellence in teaching, scholarly/creative activities, service, and outreach? Does it explore the future direction of the discipline and how the Department/Program plans to remain current and viable? Does it have a plan for attracting high achieving and diverse students to the major(s)? Does it have a plan for support mechanisms that will lead to increased retention of at–risk students? Does it identify appropriate strategies for generation of new revenue? Are there elements of the Strategic Plan that are missing or could be improved?

At the end of this section, include a sub–section entitled "Additional Impressions from External Reviewers" to allow specific, disciplinary input from the external members of the review team.

IV. Key Issues

The review report should converge on a critique of how the Department/Program describes and addresses their Key Issues.

Activities and Performance Since Last Review provides an analysis of "where we've been". The Strategic Plan provides a discussion of "where we want to go". The Key Issues should provide an in–depth analysis of "how we are going to get there". These Key Issues should provide a focal point for the review team to provide feedback on strategies for achieving these goals.

Thus, given the analysis of past performance in comparison with the goals of the Strategic Plan, does the Department/Program have a full appreciation of how to address Key Issues to achieve the goals of the Strategic Plan? Did the Review Team identify additional Key Issues not presented in the Strategic Plan?

One or more of the Key Issues may have been defined by the divisional Dean or the Office of the Provost. These should be highlighted in the Key Issues section of the Self–Study Report and in the Review Team Report. Additional discussion with the divisional Dean or the Provost may center on these Key Issues, and at the discretion of the divisional Dean or the Provost, these discussions may or may not include the internal review team members.

At the end of this section, include a sub–section entitled "Additional Impressions from External Reviewers" to allow specific, disciplinary input from the external members of the review team.