Review Committees

A review committee will be appointed by the University Provost for each unit to be reviewed. Each review committee is charged with conducting a comprehensive review of a specific academic unit and preparing a report for transmission to the University Provost.

Review committees will typically consist of one or more senior members of the BU faculty (the internal member) and two or more external consultants who are prominent faculty members at other institutions (external members). The number of internal and external reviewers will be determined in part by the breadth of the unit’s scholarly focus including its interdisciplinary breadth and methodological diversity and the background and training of the reviewers. The standard review committee is composed of one internal member and three external members.

The internal member will be invited to serve on the review team by the University Provost, and is recommended by the chair of the Faculty Committee on Academic Program Review in consultation with its members. The unit leadership and dean(s) will have the opportunity to vet candidates for the internal member before he or she is invited to serve. No member of the program under review may serve this role including faculty with joint appointments and faculty with courtesy appointments. The internal member should not be currently teaching or working on a collaborative project with a member of the faculty from the unit under review.

As part of agreement on the scope of review, the head of the unit to be reviewed and the appropriate dean(s) will provide input on the desired expertise represented by the external reviewers, but should not provide recommendations of specific individuals. The Office of the Provost will identify external candidates for service on the review committee in consultation with the internal member and the chair of the Faculty Committee on Academic Program Review.

The unit leadership and dean(s) will have the opportunity to review the list, consult with the unit’s faculty, and may strike individuals whose participation would constitute a clear conflict of interest. Striking names from the list should only be done with clear cause and valid reasons for exclusions must be provided. Neither unit leadership nor the dean(s) should approach potential review committee members in advance. The University Provost will invite external peers to participate in the review and will determine the final composition of the review committee. Based on the availability of reviewers, the Office of the Provost will confirm the site-visit period.

External reviewers should have sufficient independence from Boston University faculty. External candidates with the following potential conflicts of interest should be excluded from serving on the review committee:

  • Individuals that have now, or in the past five years, had a close collaborative relationship with a faculty member of the unit under review
  • Individuals with a prior faculty appointment in the unit under review during the past 10 years
  • Individuals associated with an organization or corporation that may benefit financially from a research project that includes a faculty member from the department
  • Individuals associated with a corporation that currently sponsors research projects involving a faculty member from the unit under review
  • Individuals associated with an organization or corporation in which a faculty member from the unit under review is currently a member of the board, a consultant, or has similar conflicts of commitment

Guidelines on the role and responsibilities of review committees: Appendix 3.