Purpose: The purpose of the systematic, internal review
of academic programs at The University of Mississippi is to improve
programs. The reviews are to assure that each academic program
or academic unit
- is adequately productive, in terms of degrees produced, credit
hours produced, and/or scholarly output,
- provides students with the opportunity for a high quality
- meets the educational needs of the state and collateral academic
The review process is intended to be formative in nature and
to relate to the 5-year planning process for each academic unit.
This Academic Program Review process is separate from the Academic
Productivity Review process mandated by the IHL Board.
Process: Academic programs will be reviewed in a cyclical
manner based on a five-year period. All doctoral programs will
be reviewed one year, followed by all masters and specialists
degrees, followed by all undergraduate programs.
The review process will involve the following main components:
- data related to student enrollment and graduation rate, faculty
teaching and research productivity, etc.,
- results from a biennial survey of graduates from the program,
- a self-study of the academic program, and
- an analysis of the above data and documents by a combination
of administrators and faculty.
The student and faculty productivity data (see example) will
be provided by the Graduate School and Provost's Office for each
academic department in early fall of each year. The alumni survey
will be performed by the Office of University Planning and Institutional
Research and results will be distributed by the Provost's Office.
The schedule for the review process will be maintained by the
The questions to be addressed in the self-study are given
in the attachment (example is a list of questions for the review
of doctoral programs-note that deans may add additional questions).
The analysis of the self-study report will be described below.
How each academic unit prepares its self-study (e.g., done by
a committee or by an individual) is not prescribed, though broad
participation by faculty is important for a successful self-study.
When complete, the academic units will forward copies of their
program self-study (along with copies of student and faculty
data and results of alumni survey data) to the Provost's Office
and the school/college Dean.
September -- Student and faculty data spreadsheets made available
to departments undergoing program review.
September - January - Departments prepare self-study documents,
using questions as a guide, along with any additional questions
provided by their dean.
February - May - Program Review Committee and deans review the
self-study documents and provide separate written responses to
the academic departments. This is followed by meetings with the
Provost, as described below.
Doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs will be
reviewed on a five-year cycle. For example, doctoral programs
will be reviewed during academic year 2001-02, masters programs
during 2002-03, and bachelors programs during 2003-04, with the
cycle renewing with doctoral programs in 2006-07, etc.
The academic program self-studies will be evaluated by the
respective school/college Dean, the Graduate Dean (in the case
of graduate programs), and the following faculty committee.
Program Review Committee: The PRC will consist of approximately
18 faculty members appointed by the Provost, plus liaisons from
the Provost's Office. The role of the PRC is to provide an independent
analysis of the self-study documents and program data and to
advise the Provost regarding actions to improve the academic
programs under review.
The members of the PRC are appointed as follows. There will
be two representatives from each of the following areas: Schools
of Accountancy, Applied Sciences, Business Administration, Education,
Engineering, Pharmacy, and Liberal Arts area I, area II, and
area III. (The Law School will not participate in the Academic
Program Review process.) The respective Deans and the Faculty
Senate Executive Committee will be asked by the Provost to recommend
two candidates for each of these 18 positions. Each nominee must
be an Associate or Full Professor (e.g., must be a full member
of the Graduate Faculty). From among these nominees, the Provost
will appoint two members from each area, taking into account
a desire to have at least three members with recent experience
(or current membership) on the Undergraduate Council and at least
three members with experience (or current membership) on the
Graduate Council. The members of the PRC will be asked to serve
a five-year term (with recognition that the review cycle may
only require activity for three of these five years-see the Schedule
section-unless follow-up reviews are necessary). A new PRC will
be selected for each five-year cycle. Vacancies on the committee
will be filled by the Provost after seeking nominations from
the Dean and the Faculty Senate. The chairs of the Graduate Council
(the Graduate Dean) and Undergraduate Council (the Associate
Provost for Undergraduate Affairs) will serve as non-voting ex
officio members of the PRC during the years that graduate and
undergraduate programs are being reviewed, respectively. These
administrative liaisons will provide logistical support and will
be responsible for calling the committee into action and for
prompting the academic units to prepare self-studies.
Each year the PRC will elect its own chair.
The chair of the PRC will appoint subcommittees to review individual
academic programs. These subcommittees will comprise at least
three faculty members, with no faculty member being assigned
to review a program from his or her department. (Also, a faculty
member should not be assigned to review a degree level, e.g.,
PhD, if his or her home department does have this degree level.)
The subcommittee may perform the evaluation in unison or as individual
reviewers. Subcommittee members may request additional information
from the academic units, but should do so through the chair or
the administrative liaison. The subcommittee reviews will be
forwarded to the PRC chair who will work with the administrative
liaison to put the reviews in a consistent format. When all subcommittees
have prepared draft reviews, the entire PRC will meet to share
opinions and to standardize criteria, before submitting final
The PRC's reviews may make a recommendation regarding whether
to seek an external evaluation. (It is anticipated that the first
round of program reviews will primarily be an internal process,
with the process resulting in goals and plans for program improvement.
In subsequent review cycles, external reviewers may be of more
value to ascertain if progress toward goals has been demonstrated.)
The PRC is asked to make specific recommendations and constructive
criticisms regarding each program. In particular, the PRC is
asked to rate each program as not satisfactory or satisfactory.
For the latter, the program can be further described as "needs
improvement," "promising," or "superior."
The three main criteria (i.e., productivity, quality, and need)
listed in the Purpose section should guide these recommendations.
Emphasis should be placed on recommending to the department and
to the administration a set of actions to be taken, within reasonable
budgetary constraints, to remedy deficiencies and to enhance
the academic program. If an unsatisfactory rating is made, the
PRC may make recommendations regarding whether to phase out,
combine, or otherwise restructure a program.
Administrative-level reviews: The PRC reviews
of the program self-studies (and program data and alumni survey)
are sent to the academic unit chair/coordinator, the Provost,
the school/college Dean, and the Graduate Dean (as appropriate).
The departments are given an opportunity to correct any errors
in the PRC reviews. The dean (along with the Graduate Dean, in
the case of graduate programs) will meet to discuss the self-studies
and PRC reviews, leading to administrative-level recommendations
for each program. As appropriate, the chair of the academic department
or coordinator of the academic program will meet with the Provost
and/or Dean(s) to discuss the implementation of the recommendations.
The administrative-level reviews will take into account larger
issues, such as program duplication within the state and the
IHL Academic Productivity Review.
The Provost will determine whether a follow-up report from
the academic unit, the PRC, or the Dean is needed before the
next 5-year cycle. If an "unsatisfactory" or more than
one "needs improvement" recommendation is made by the
PRC or deans for academic programs from a particular department,
this may prompt an ad hoc review of the entire department by