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Program Review Process

Approved in concept by Academic Council May 9, 2002
Word Changes Approved October 10, 2002
[Earlier Version: October 9, 1998
Approved in concept (with wording change in early Fall 1998)
by Academic Council May 21, 1998]

Program Review Process

This document contains an overview of the program review process and the criteria for the review of all University of the Pacific academic programs. Program review is an ongoing process where all programs will be reviewed in a cycle of every seven years (program cycles may vary depending upon external program review schedules).

The main objectives of program review are to:

  • Improve the focus of academic programs, based on our mission, vision and priorities.
  • Improve the quality of our academic programs.
  • Assure efficient use of resources.
  • Identify academic investment opportunities for growth.
  • Encourage innovation in programs.
  • Meet WASC accreditation requirements.

The basis for interpreting and assessing the outcome of the program review process is the Mission, Vision, Planning Assumptions and Priorities of the University. Outcomes of the review process may be to strengthen, maintain, reduce or discontinue a program.

Procedural Issues
All Pacific academic programs on all three campuses will be reviewed over a time period of approximately seven years. Departments which are externally accredited should recognize that their accreditation report may not be a complete program review report. Internal program reviews should be conducted at the same time as an external accreditation review in order to minimize the workload for the department or unit. However, programs may wish to separate these two review processes and should be allowed to do so and, therefore, may necessitate a change in timeline specified in Section I-C. The Office of the Provost maintains a list of programs to be reviewed each year. Ideally, the list will be prepared for several years in advance so that individual programs and the Academic Affairs Committee will be able to anticipate future tasks.

Review panels will be formed by the Academic Affairs Committee. Normally, each panel will review a single program or unit. Prior to panel appointment programs will have the opportunity to review a slate of potential panelists and make appropriate recommendations. The review panel consists of a minimum of three faculty members and one student. The three faculty members will serve as liaisons to Academic Affairs, Academic Council and Graduate Studies (when applicable) and may be chosen from the membership of those groups. At least one faculty panel member should have had prior administrative experience. For graduate programs the student representative will be a graduate student. An optional external reviewer may be added to the panel. Early in the fall semester the Academic Affairs Committee will work with ASUOP to assemble a slate of student review panel candidates for ASUOP approval. ASUOP selections will be forwarded to the Academic Affairs Committee by its October meeting. The panel also must seek extensive student input early in the review process.

Departments should focus their self study reports on issues which are critical for the department. In order to determine which items are critical for an individual department, the Provost, Dean, and program director will meet to determine which items are central issues for the program under review, and which other items do not need as thorough an evaluation. As a result, some program review criteria may be omitted in the compilation of the self-study report. Programs undergoing review for the first time should comprehensively address all of the program review criteria.

In all cases, outcomes from previous reviews, including those associated with previous program review or accreditation reviews and the results of unit or program assessments of student learning should be a major part of the review.

Program Review Timeline

Spring Semester (prior year)

Two briefing meetings will be held by the end of the spring semester. A joint meeting is held for all programs directors to explain the program review process. Separately, each program will meet with the provost and appropriate dean(s) to identify and discuss any key issues for the program under review.

Not later than June 30 an updated 5-Year Program Review Data Sheet will be provided to the programs and the review panels. (Updated information is available on the Planning and Research Office Website.)

Fall Semester

By the September meeting of each year the Academic Affairs Committee forms the review panels for the programs being reviewed that year.

A self-study report is prepared by the program being reviewed. Three copies of the self-study report must be submitted to the Office of the Provost no later than November 1. The self-study report may follow the structure outlined below, but may be modified if a similar analysis has been prepared for an external review body. The Office of the Provost will distribute a copy of the self-study report to the review panel. A copy of the self-study report will be put on reserve in the library for access by Academic Affairs Committee members and others. The program should submit a copy of the self-study report to the appropriate dean.

The review panels are encouraged to meet with the programs at least three times through the review process. Panels must conduct an open forum for each program being reviewed to collect information from students and faculty regarding the program's strength and limitations before submitting their final report. Panels may choose to have their open meeting with students after the program self-study report is submitted. A meeting will be scheduled between the review panel and the unit or program to clarify the panel's report and recommendations prior to submission of the final report to the Office of the Provost and solicit feedback from the program and the appropriate dean.

Spring Semester

The review panel must submit a copy of its final report and recommendation no later than February 15 to the Office of the Provost, the program and appropriate dean.

After the review panel final report is submitted the program being reviewed has two weeks to make a response. This response is submitted not later than March 1 in time for it to be distributed to AAC members with the report of the review panel. A response is also solicited from the Dean of the program's school. Panel recommendations, program and Dean responses are forwarded to Academic Affairs, Academic Council, Graduate Studies (as appropriate) and the Provost's office. Comments from Graduate Studies are forwarded to Academic Affairs.

Academic Affairs meets in March and April to review all materials relevant to the program review. Academic Affairs, as the overseer of the entire program review process, will take two votes on each program: 1) was due process followed; and 2) a vote on the panel recommendations. The committee can vote to accept the recommendations of the panel, reject the recommendations of the panel, and/or add further recommendations to the report. Program directors and panel members will be invited to attend these meetings and may be asked to provide points of clarification. Comments from Graduate Studies (as appropriate) and Academic Affairs are forwarded from Academic Affairs to Academic Council. Academic Council will take action on the AAC's recommendations and present the complete package to the Provost for consideration by the end of May.

An opportunity for a meeting between the unit or program reviewed, the dean of the unit, a representative of the review panel, and the Provost will be offered prior to the Provost's submission of recommendations to the President. By August 15 the Provost reviews his recommendations with IPC, the programs being reviewed, and the review panels. It is expected that if the recommendation of the Provost differs from the panel recommendation a statement giving reasons for the recommendation will be provided to the program, the review panel, Academic Affairs, and Academic Council by the Provost. The Provost's report will be considered at the first fall semester meetings of the Academic Affairs Committee and Academic Council. These committees may accept, endorse or object to the Provost's recommendations. The Provost's report to the President is made public by the Provost after September 15. A central depository for program review reports will be maintained by the Office of the Provost at the library. The President's decision will be made by the end of October.

There will be an opportunity for follow-up meetings between the unit or program reviewed and the dean to discuss the President's decision regarding program review outcomes and recommendations, assign responsibility for follow-up activities, and agree on a timetable for such activities to be implemented or completed. A review of the overall program review outcomes will be conducted during the first year following completion of a review cycle to assess progress at the institutional level. While faculty will participate in this overall review, the Provost's Office will provide periodic monitoring of review outcomes which will provide a part of the information used in this review.

Information Provided to Departments
The planning and Research Office provides information for Program Review either through its website upon request from departments. Such information may include:

  • Admission statistics
    • Number of inquiries about the program from prospective students
    • Number of applications for the program from prospective students
    • Number of freshmen
    • Number of transfers
    • Number of graduate students
  • Retention rates
  • Graduation rates
  • Enrollments - majors and minors (double majors should be counted in two programs)
  • Course enrollments
  • Student ethnicity and gender
  • Student GPA
  • Faculty profile
    • Annual FT/FTE
    • Tenure/untenured
    • Gender and ethnicity
  • Alumni data
  • List of comparison schools
  • Budget information

The library also provides information for programs under review.