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Section Five - Academic Program Review

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8.0 EXTERNAL REVIEW

8.1 External reviewers will be selected by the Division of Academic Affairs in consultation with the College Dean or appropriate administrator and the Chair of the degree-granting program or Director of the academic support unit.

8.2 For programs or units with nationally recognized accreditation, the visit of the program or unit conducted by the accrediting body shall normally be accepted by the College Dean or appropriate administrator and Division of Academic Affairs as satisfying this requirement.

8.3 Reports from any external reviewer(s) (including reports from accrediting bodies) will be considered by the University Program Review Committee in preparing its final report.

The Division of Academic Affairs, in consultation with the college dean or appropriate administrator, determines the number of external reviewers. The charge of external review is to provide substantive feedback from knowledgeable peers in the discipline being reviewed. For programs or units with nationally recognized accreditation, the program chair or unit director may request of the dean or administrator that the reviewer(s) from the accreditation body be accepted as fulfilling this purpose, and this request will normally be approved. As discussed below, "external reviewers" refers also to reviewers from accreditation bodies.

The Division of Academic Affairs solicits names of potential external reviewers from the program or unit and the college dean or appropriate administrator and adds those names to a pool of potential external reviewers.  After consultation with the program or unit and dean or administrator, the Division of Academic Affairs then makes the final choice from the pool and appoints one or more to assist the University Program Review Committee.

The Division of Academic Affairs coordinates with the external reviewers on the extent of their participation in the review. In addition to the meetings undertaken jointly with the University Program Review Committee, the external reviewers will have both a preliminary meeting and a final exit interview with the Vice Provost and the appropriate college administrator. External reviewers will also meet separately with the department chair, faculty, staff, students, and other relevant stakeholders during the course of the review.

Ideally, one joint visit will be made to any program or unit by the external reviewers together with the University Program Review Committee. After the external reviewers have been identified, the Director of Program Review & Assessment will coordinate with the external reviewers on the specific dates of the campus visit, and the program or unit will set up the daily schedule of meetings for the external reviewers. The Division of Academic Affairs will notify the Chair of the Program Assessment and Review Council that a University Program Review Committee needs to be appointed, and will advise the Chair of PARC on the dates of the visit of the external reviewers. The Division of Academic Affairs is responsible for the cost of travel, lodging, and honorarium. The program or unit is responsible for all other costs, such as meals.

Visits by external reviewers are expected to extend over two (2) days. After their visit, external reviewers are expected to write an independent evaluative report and transmit it to the Division of Academic Affairs. In the event a timeline conflict exists between the University and the Accrediting body, the accreditation timeline will prevail. The Division will send copies to the Chair of the University Program Review Committee, the college dean or appropriate administrator, and the program or unit under review. The program or unit will have 15 working days to respond to factual errors in the external reviewers' report. Any responses should be sent by the program or unit to the college dean or appropriate administrator, the Division of Academic Affairs, and the Chair of the University Program Review Committee.

Section 5: Academic Program Review
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