Process

The program review process is based on a seven-year cycle or, whenever possible, conducted in conjunction with other timely reviews by   or possibly by the Louisiana Board of Regents. Units will be responsible for notifying the Office of Academic Affairs of such reviews and providing information to the University Review & Assessment Council  (URAC) for determination as to whether the process can be coordinated.

Self-Study Report. The units must prepare a self-study report that addresses the following components: accomplishments since the last program review; listing of awards; faculty or staff information; student information; assessment and curriculum or program changes; teaching enhancements, if applicable; research productivity, if applicable; engagement and partnerships; challenges/barriers; and a strategic action plan priorities. Accompanying appendices include: most recent strategic plan; annual reports since last program review; annual assessment of learning outcomes report (for academic units); and action plan (formerly memorandum of agreement) from last program review.

External Reviewers. Input from external reviewers is a critical aspect of program review, because it provides an evaluative opinion from recognized experts in the field, ensures objectivity, helps provide perspectives concerning the program's relationship to the discipline, and lends credibility to the process. Units will provide the names of at least five proposed external reviewers (in rank order with “1” as the unit’s top choice) from peer or similar institutions. The list of external reviewers will be reviewed and approved by URAC. The external reviewer will provide a report based on the unit’s self-study report.

Internal Panels. Program review internal panels will be selected for each academic and support program reviewed. The panel will act as a subcommittee of the URAC. Members of the panel will be recommended by the Council with the concurrence of the executive vice president and provost or the Provost's representative.

The panels will be responsible for carrying out the program review and for making recommendations to the Provost in a formal report. This review will consist of a review of the unit’s self-study report and external reviewer’s report; meetings with the unit’s administration, faculty, staff, and students; and, when applicable, a tour of facilities. Each panel evaluating academic programs will be chaired by an experienced senior faculty member who is not in the same unit as the program to be reviewed. An additional two faculty members will be asked to serve, and where possible one of the two will be from the college of the unit and one of the two will be from outside the college of the unit. When possible, at least one of the panel members will have graduate faculty status.   Each panel evaluating support programs will be chaired by an experienced staff member from URAC who is not in the same unit as the program to be reviewed. An additional two panel members, one of whom will be an experienced faculty member and one of whom will be an experienced staff member not from the program, will form the review panel.

Action Plans. The program review process concludes with an action plan, comprised of recommendations based on the internal panel and external reviewer’s reports, proposed actions by the responding unit, and a timeline for completing those actions. Progress toward accomplishing the action plan will be documented in the units’ annual reports and considered in the units’ next program review.