Agreement on the Scope of Review

Once initiated by the Office of the Provost, the first step in the review process is to develop agreement on the scope of the review.  The Provost’s designee, relevant dean(s), and leadership of the academic unit under review (e.g. department chair, director, section head) will meet to discuss and agree upon the scope of the review and to identify any particular issues unique to the program on which specific input from external visitors is requested.

All reviews will include several common, standard areas for assessment in addition to any unique issues identified.  These details will be outlined in the scope of review document, which all parties will sign as confirmation.  The signed agreement will serve as the governing document and outline the official charge for the review committee.

The scope of review document will also provide guidance on the general composition of the review committee including its size, the range of disciplines and/or sub-disciplines to be represented, and the most likely sources for qualified reviewers.

Prior to the meeting and the drafting of the scope of review document, critical input on all aspects of the review structure and elements should be gathered from faculty in the unit undergoing review.

All reviews of academic programs at Boston University will include a thorough and candid evaluation of the following standard areas of assessment:

  1. The mission and scholarly/creative profile of the program.
  2. The quality of the educational programs, both undergraduate and graduate.
  3. The reputation of the program among peers in the discipline including national rankings and the extent to which the program is regarded as a leader in the field.
  4. The likelihood that the program can significantly enhance its standing in the field.  In particular, the review committee should recommend priorities and strategies that will enable the unit to rise in quality and reputation.
  5. Improvements possible without significant investments of University resources.
  6. Improvements only possible with additional resources.
  7. Whether there are entrenched or irreconcilable issues within the unit that constrain its effectiveness and whether there may be more effective methods of working together.

In addition, reviewers may be asked to provide assessment, advice, or feedback on a number of unique questions outlined in the scope of review document.  However, answers to the unique questions should not preclude focus on the standard areas of assessment.

Scope of Review Template