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Faculty & Staff Resources

Departmental Reviews

I.  Purpose of the Review

The departmental review focuses on the quality and vitality of the department's educational programs and teaching; the quality of the faculty's research, scholarship, or artistic activities; and the department's service to the university, the state, and the discipline.  The review recommends what steps need to be taken to ensure that the department's mission is fulfilled, to improve the department's quality, and to increase its centrality to the missions of the College of Arts & Sciences, the university, and the state. Please review the OSPIE orientation materials for more information and an introduction to the review process.

II.  Departmental Self-Study
The review process will begin with a departmental self-study prepared in consultation with, and approved by, the faculty of the department. The self-study can take the form of a narrative plus appendices, and it should include all the information in the educational unit checklist provided here. We recommend that departments begin working on the self-study one year in advance of their scheduled external review. The self-study should be submitted electronically to Teresa Smith by December 15th. The college will need an electronic copy of the review plus one zipped file containing the faculty CVs. We encourage departments to review the self-study resources provided by OSPIE.

III.  Work of the Review Committee

A)  Appointment of External Review Committee Members: The dean will appoint the internal members of the review committee in consultation with the associate deans.  The dean will appoint the external members of the committee after soliciting nominations from the department and other appropriate sources and after consulting with the associate deans. The external review committee should be appointed by May 1 prior to the review year.
B)  External Review Committee Visit:  The internal and external members of the review committee will spend two days interviewing faculty, staff, and students in the department.  The department and the Office of the Dean will cooperate in preparing the schedule of the reviewers' interviews and transmit the schedule to the reviewers the week before the review visit. The committee may also interview non-departmental faculty and administrators suggested by the department, the college, or the reviewers themselves.  It is expected that the review committee will meet with most of the department faculty members, either individually or in small groups.  The department must include in the review schedule meetings with graduate students and, if at all possible, undergraduate students.  The review visit will begin with an orientation meeting with the dean and associate deans and will end with an exit interview with the dean and associate deans. The review visit is typically scheduled for February or March.
C)  External Review Committee Report: The internal and external members of the review committee will normally render a joint report to the dean. The dean will then transmit the report to the department.  Any negative evaluative comments about identified or identifiable persons (including the chair) must be separately reported to the dean, who will notify the persons commented on and provide them access to the comments. The dean shall maintain the confidentiality of these comments, as needed. The External Review Committee's report should be submitted to the College by April 30th. 

IV.  Departmental Response to the Review Report
Upon receipt of the ERC report, the Dean will meet with the department chair or program director to discuss the report and the department's Program Review Implementation Plan. These meetings will typically occur in May. The dean will solicit a written response, including the correction of any factual errors, from the department. The departmental response must include a detailed assessment of the recommendations of the review committee and provide a proposed implementation plan and timetable addressing changes that are deemed desirable or necessary. The Program Review Implementation Plan must also be completed and submitted to the Dean and OSPIE. The response and the PRIP are due by September 30th. 

V.  College's Response to the Review Materials
After reviewing the self-study, the review report, and the response of the department, the dean will provide the department with a written response detailing the college’s expectations for the department, and the measures the college itself is prepared to take, as a result of the review and approving a timetable for the implementation of the changes.  In light of the college’s response, the department may be asked to revise the Program Review Implementation Plan (PRIP).  The dean’s approval of a final Program Review Implementation Plan (PRIP) will officially conclude the review process.  The dean shall put in place appropriate procedures to monitor the implementation of these changes, including Annual Progress Reports, as required by ARII-1.0.6. The Dean's response will be submitted to the department by October 30th. 

VI.  Access to Review Documents
When the dean’s response to the review has been sent to the department, all the review materials will be treated as public documents, except those that are prepared with an explicit expectation of confidentiality (personnel issues). The chair of the department must share the dean’s written response with the department faculty. The department chair has the responsibility of making the review materials available to faculty, staff, and students of the department upon request. The college will submit the review documents to OSPIE and will make them available to others upon request.

VII.  Timetable

  • Begin Self-Study Process: Spring prior to review year
  • External Review Committee Appointed: May 1st
  • Self-Study Submitted to College: December 15th
  • External Review Committee Visit: February or March
  • External Review Committee Report Submitted to College: April 30th
  • Dean and Department Chair/Program Director Meet: May
  • Departmental Response and PRIP Submitted: September 30th
  • Dean's Response Submitted to Department: October 30th

VIII.  Support for Reviews
Your liaison in the Dean’s Office is Teresa Smith ( or 257-1375), who will assist you throughout the review process. OSPIE provides information and reports that may be helpful to the self-study and external review committees.  If you need assistance with support documentation, please contact the Jesse Hedge ( or 257-7296).   FY departmental allocations and expenditures will be provided by Jennifer Bradshaw, Assistant Dean of Finance and Administration ( or 257-7056).