Process Overview

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


A. Timing of Review, Coordination with External Accreditation

In consultation with the Chair of the Academic Program Review Committee (APRC) and the Office of the Provost, the divisional Dean selects Departments/Programs to be reviewed on a rotating basis.

  • The Chair of APRC will collaborate with the divisional Deans to develop a five- to seven-year schedule of academic program reviews that is subject to approval by the Office of the Provost.
  • The schedule should be evaluated each year and revisions should be made if necessary. Departments/Programs should be given ample notice (2-3 years) in advance of an impending academic program review.
  • Departments/Programs that required external professional accreditation may elect to replace the internal review process outlined in this document with their specific professional accreditation process.
  • Internal review of Department/Program missions and goals outside the purview of professional accreditation still must be done. The scope of the internal review will be determined by the divisional dean in consultation with the Office of the Provost. The timing of the 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.
  • The divisional Dean(s) may also form Department/Program clusters based on similarity of discipline, interdisciplinary groups, and orientation of mission to the university. See Section F "Cluster Reviews" below for details.

B. Self-study

Prior to the review's site visit, each Department/Program, in consultation with the divisional Dean, develops a Self-Study, which includes an "Analysis of Activities and Performance Since the Last Review," a "Strategic Plan," and a "Key Issues Document. These documents are described in the "Academic Program Review - Department/Program Self-Study Guidelines."

C. Review Team Selection

In consultation with the Department/Program, the divisional Dean chooses a team of external and internal reviewers for each Department/Program to be reviewed. Including internal and external advisors in the review process provides a valuable opportunity for a Department/Program to receive feedback.

  • The review team contains both internal (Miami faculty) and external (non-Miami faculty) members.
  • The review team will be chaired by a member or representative of the Academic Program Review Committee (APRC) appointed by the Chair of APRC.
  • The divisional Dean will select two external reviewers from a list of at least five provided by the Department. The divisional Dean may also appoint an external reviewer outside of the list provided by the Department.
  • The divisional Dean will select two internal reviewers from a list of Miami faculty nominated by the Department. Internal reviewers will include at least one person from a cognate fields, and at least one from a non-cognate field. The divisional Dean may also appoint an internal reviewer outside of the list provided by the Department.
  • For review teams of clusters, see Section F "Cluster Reviews" below for details.

D. Site Visit Procedure

  1. The divisional Dean's Office will send to the review team a packet of information that includes the Self-Study, results of the most recent Department/Program review, and any other relevant supporting information (e.g., Miami 2020 Plan Assessment Reports and Evaluations).
  2. Itineraries and travel arrangements of the external team, and arrangements for individual meetings during the site visit will be coordinated by the Chair/Director and the divisional Dean. The APRC representative on the review team will ensure that meetings for the site visit are properly scheduled and include all appropriate stakeholders in the review (e.g., Oxford-based faculty, Regional-based faculty, staff, students, administrators), with a focus on the Key Issues section of the Self-Study.
  3. Over a 1.5-2 day period, the review team will conduct the site visit and review the Department/Program, including its contributions to divisional goals and the university strategic priorities and mission.
  4. Meetings with the divisional Dean will be scheduled at the beginning and the end of the visit. Meetings during the site visit should include faculty, students, staff, and Graduate Dean as appropriate. An exit interview with the Provost is at the discretion of the divisional Dean.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. A final meeting of the review team of at least one hour will be scheduled at the end of the site visit for the team to begin drafting its report.

E. Reporting and Outcomes

  1. The review team will generate a report within four weeks of the site visit. The report will be shared with key stakeholders (e.g., divisional Dean, Department chair, faculty, staff) of the Department and the APRC Chair. The format of the report should follow the "Academic Program Review Team Report Guidelines".
  2. The divisional Dean and Chair/Director will conduct a fact-check on the review team report within a week of its receipt. If necessary, they may ask for corrections of errors in facts.
  3. The divisional Dean will meet with the Chair/Director and then prepare the divisional response to the review.
  4. The Department/Program will provide a written response to the review within one month or receiving the report.
  5. The Dean will submit the Department/Program Self-Study, review team report, Department/Program response, and the divisional response to the Office of the Provost and APRC for review within one month of receiving the Department/Program response.
  6. The Provost may write a university response if appropriate.
  7. The divisional Dean and Provost will meet with APRC to discuss the results of the academic program review. The completed review for each Department/Program will include the packet of information sent to external reviewers, the review team report, the Department/Program response, the divisional response, and the university response (if written).
  8. APRC will provide a summary report of the outcome of the review process in its annual report to University Senate.
  9. Within a year of receiving the completed review, the Department/Program will submit an updated Strategic Plan that addresses the review's recommendations to the divisional Dean, the Provost, and the Chair of APRC.

F. Cluster Reviews

The divisional Dean(s) may form Department or Program clusters for review based on similarity of discipline, interdisciplinary groups, and/or orientation of mission to the university (e.g,, biological sciences departments). The aforementioned process will be followed for cluster reviews, with the following modifications:

  • The Dean(s) will provide a common, cluster-related Key Issue to each Department/Program that must be addressed within each Department/Program Self-Study document.
  • The review team will have at least one external reviewer for each discipline in the cluster. This may entail a larger number of reviewers compared to single Department/Program reviews. There will still be three internal reviewers - two selected by the Dean as in Section C "Review Team Selection" above plus a member or representative of APRC, who will serve as chair of the review team for the cluster.
  • Each Department/Program will develop and submit a Self-Study. A separate self-study for the cluster will not be required.
  • The site visit may need to be longer to accommodate meetings with all stakeholders.

G. Timeline for Review Process

The timeline for the review process begins in the summer, one full year prior to the review site visit (e.g., if the site visit is scheduled for fall of 2019, the timeline begins in the summer of 2018) and should be completed no later than Spring Break of the academic year of the review site visit.

The following occur in the year prior to the review site visit:

May–June: Chairs/Directors will attend

  • An orientation meeting with divisional Dean
  • A strategic planning workshop hosted by the chair of APRC

June–August: Departments/Programs will begin data collection in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) and begin to formulate strategic plan goals and objectives.

The following occur in the year of the review site visit:

August–December: Departments/Programs meet to discuss and develop an outline of their strategic plan.

January: A draft or outline of strategic plan is submitted to and discussed with the divisional Dean. Key Issues identified by the Department/Program are discussed and approved by the divisional Dean, and any additional Key Issues identified by the divisional Dean or Provost are discussed and added to the list.

February–April: Chair/Director and divisional Dean collaborate to select external reviewers and select site visit dates for September/October. The divisional Dean contacts external reviewers and confirms availability for site visit.

February–July: Departments/Programs update data collection, finalize strategic plan, and prepare full Self-Study Report using the "Academic Program Review - Department/Program Self-Study Guidelines " due July 31.

July–August: Internal team members are selected by the divisional Dean, and the review team chairperson is selected by APRC chair.

August: Self-Study documents and supporting materials (e.g., results of previous review, Miami 2020 Plan reports assessment plans and reports) are sent electronically to all members of the review team.

September–October: Site visits with external and internal review team.

November–December: Review team prepares and submits report to divisional Deans.

January: Chair(s)/Director(s) discuss review report with the divisional Dean.

February: Divisional Dean prepares divisional response to review.

March: Chair(s)/Director(s) respond to review report and divisional review.

April: APRC meets to discuss outcomes of reviews and prepares annual report to Senate.