Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Policies Guiding Program Review

Statute on Program Review  Purpose

It is the purpose of this statute to assure regular review of all academic programs and units within Wayne State University to assess the quality of their undergraduate and graduate programs and their contributions to the teaching, research and service missions of the University.  These assessments of program quality should be used to assure recognition and continued support for programs which have achieved excellence, to provide leadership and assistance to those programs with high potential, and to identify and, where possible, to strengthen programs which do not meet the university's standards of excellence, and to identify programs which no longer fall within the university's missions.  Program Review Procedures

The President, following usual procedures for consultation with faculty bodies, shall promulgate procedures and standards for periodic program  review of all academic programs at Wayne State University.  Program reviews should ordinarily include self-studies by the appropriate academic unit, evaluation of the unit by faculty bodies and/or academic administrators as appropriate, and, wherever possible, evaluation by leading persons in the same academic discipline or field from outside the university.  Reporting

The university administration shall annually report to the Board of Governors the academic programs which have been reviewed during that year and the schedule of program review for following years.  Upon the initiative of the Board of Governors or the President, a summary of the findings of the program review of an academic unit may be referred to the Board of Governors for consideration.

Legislative History
Adopted  6-0; Official Proceedings 28:3923  (23 March 1984)
Cross References
Statute # rev  3/88



The overall objective of the proposed Program Review Process is to assure quality academic programs through periodic assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of academic programs.  In addition, information from the Program Review Process will serve as a point of reference for budget and long-range planning  decisions.


The following procedures are recommended in order to provide a comprehensive set of review policies and procedures for coordination of review of undergraduate and graduate academic programs.  Program Review will occur on a seven year cycle.  Whenever possible, the program review schedule will be coordinated with accreditation reviews, Graduate Council reviews, and other existing ongoing review procedures so as to avoid duplication of effort.  The Program Review Process also should be coordinated with the information gathering process for budget and long-term planning.

General Principles

The Vice President for Academic Affairs shall have principal responsibility for the initiation and establishment of the program review schedule.

Responsibility for initial self-study and program assessment should rest with each academic department/division.  Initiation, guidance, and assistance in this process should be given by the Dean in each school and college.

The review procedures should be easy to administer, be economical in terms of both time and cost, and yield information on important program characteristics.

Whenever possible, all programs in a unit--undergraduate and graduate--should be scheduled for program review at the same time.

External reviewers will be used in all reviews and as incorporated in existing accreditation review processes.

Primary responsibility for program evaluation should lie in the hands of a peer Review Advisory Panel.

The Graduate Council for the graduate component of programs and the  Undergraduate Program Review Committee for the undergraduate component of programs shall review the report of the peer Review Advisory Panel and provide recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

When evaluations are completed, the academic unit and the Dean, in consultation with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, should develop a plan for improvement where weaknesses have been found.

Between evaluations, each academic unit should provide a brief report of its activities, including steps it currently is taking to make any improvements found necessary during the evaluation process.

Designation of Unit of Review

For purposes of planning the review process, academic program is defined as any combination of courses leading to the designation of major, or to a separate degree designation.  Several other programs which provide academic support services, e.g., centers and institutes, but which do not offer degree programs, are included in the program review.  The combined total of academic programs as defined above, and of other academic-support programs, yields nearly 200 different program units.

In order to consolidate the number of discrete program units and to facilitate coordination of the academic program review process, it is recommended that the unit of review be designated as follows:

  1. School or College-wide reviews in Business Administration, Education, Health and Physical Education, Engineering, Law, Nursing, and Social Work
  2. Department or Program Level reviews in Liberal Arts, Fine and Performing Arts, Library Science, Medicine, Pharmacy and Allied Health, Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs, and all other areas

Scheduling of Reviews

A sequence of Program Reviews shall be established by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Whenever possible, all programs in a unit--undergraduate, graduate--would be scheduled for program review at the same time.  With professional schools and other programs subject to accreditation, the accreditation review and the university's program review process would occur at the same time.