Academic Program Review

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The systematic and recurring review of academic programs at Boston University is an essential element of our ongoing effort to promote critical reflection, self-assessment, and strategic planning toward our goals.

Reviews engage input from distinguished faculty with the relevant disciplinary expertise at other leading institutions in order to obtain an honest appraisal of an academic unit’s strengths and weaknesses in all aspects of its activities.  The information that is gathered as part of the review process helps to foster academic excellence within the unit, identify methods to increase quality, and provides critical guidance for administrative decisions.  In addition, the systematic assessment of academic programs and the use of assessment results to improve academic quality and effectiveness are requirements of Boston University’s institutional accreditation as outlined by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

The goals of academic program review at Boston University are:

  1. Critical self-assessment and articulation of future directions by the faculty and leadership of an academic unit.
  2. Expert assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of an academic  unit by specialists in the field from outside Boston University who can  evaluate the program’s overall quality including its faculty, academic  programs, students, curricula, resources, and future opportunities.
  3. Assessment of a unit’s future potential and identification of priorities for making improvements in quality and stature.
  4. Agreement at the levels of the faculty, dean, and provost on the  priorities, action items, and a timeline for implementation necessary to  build excellence in an academic unit.

Approximately eight separate reviews of academic programs will be conducted each year and will typically follow a timetable that allows the entire review process to be completed within an 18-month period.

The Office of the Provost funds and manages the review process, led by the Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives as the Provost’s designee, working in close collaboration with the academic and administrative leadership of the units under review.

The complete guidelines are also available as a PDF: APR Guidelines.