28.1 General Purpose

(Amended 2/07; 4/6/21)

The fundamental role of the academic review process is to aid the University community in its continual striving for excellence and efficiency in its teaching and research through systematic review of its performance and direction on every level — from that of departments and programs, through colleges, and ultimately to the University as a whole. The specific purposes of the review process include the following:

  1. to identify and reassess missions and goals;
  2. to examine functions in terms of quality and continuing need;
  3. to establish priorities for programmatic development;
  4. to evaluate the effectiveness with which program activities promote the welfare of faculty, staff, and students;
  5. to review the financial structure with regard to sources of funds and amounts required to support essential goals and objectives;
  6. to establish a base for future development; and
  7. to evaluate progress in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The benefits to be derived from academic reviews are varied and relate to all levels of the University. The process of preparing a self-assessment in itself can lead to new insights concerning functions, problems, needs, and future directions on the part of the academic unit or program. Service on review committees broadens the perspectives of faculty concerning the missions and interrelationships of departments, programs, and colleges within the University. These academic reviews allow faculty to have direct input on recommendations for improvements in academic administrative structure and function. These activities facilitate productive communication between faculty, shared governance, and University administration. The results of reviews can provide one basis for determining departmental, collegiate, and University priorities for program development and resource allocation. Finally, the review system represents the fundamental component of the University's long-range planning process through which the Board of Regents will assess the future needs and development of the institution. In sum, the academic review process plays a critical role in maintaining institutional vitality, planning, and improving the quality of our programs, facilities, staff, students, faculty, and administration. Therefore, the Executive Vice President and Provost will report annually to the Faculty Senate on the results of academic reviews, stressing the implications of reviews for planning at the University level.

The following policies and guidelines are meant to emphasize the need for clearly defining the various components of the review process and the procedures to be followed so as to make this process more widely understood and effective. In addition, these policies focus on the importance of a full consideration of the recommendations resulting from the review. Colleges are responsible for regular reviews of their departments and academic programs. Collegiate reviews of departments and programs should follow the policies and guidelines in this chapter.

Except for reviews of administrators for whom the President is responsible, the Executive Vice President and Provost shall have overall responsibility for monitoring the implementation of this section.