Appendix XVI - Academic Program Reviews


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[En 11 June 91; Repealed 9 Nov 94; En 12 Nov 96; En Nov 01; Am 01 Nov 07; Am 12 Nov 09]

For the information of campus and extramural agencies concerned with the Academic Senate's review of academic programs, this appendix outlines goals and procedures for such reviews in accordance with the charges of the Graduate Council (GC) and Undergraduate Council (UgC) set forth in Senate Bylaws 65.2 and 65.1 respectively.


The primary goal of the Academic Program Reviews is to maintain and strengthen the quality of UCLA's undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Reviews are intended to be helpful and supportive in (a) recognizing strengths and achievements, (b) promoting goal setting and planning, and (c) identifying areas in need of attention. Reviews should primarily seek perspectives useful to the units whose programs are under review and to their respective academic deans. They should also give Senate agencies and senior administrators an informed overview of the strengths, problems, and needs of academic units.

UgC is responsible for all undergraduate degree programs including undergraduate minors and honors programs; GC is responsible for all graduate degree programs. When a department, interdepartmental degree program (IDP), center for interdisciplinary instruction (CII), or other academic unit (all hereafter referred to as units) offers only undergraduate or graduate degree(s), then the responsible Council alone carries out all aspects of the review. When the unit offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees, then the UgC and GC carry out all aspects of the review together. In any given year, the Councils will split between them leadership in these joint reviews. What follows is written as though the unit offered both undergraduate and graduate degrees. [Am 13 Nov 01]

UgC and GC shall notify each unit to be reviewed by the beginning of Fall Quarter of the academic year prior to the site visit, requesting the unit to undertake a self-review that includes not only its present situation but also its plans and expectations. At this time, UgC and GC shall identify the information required to prepare the self-review, provide the unit with statistical information from either Senate or administration sources, and stipulate when any further information will be made available to the unit. All this information shall become part of the self-review. In preparing the self-review, the unit's faculty and students shall engage in one or more discussions of programs, strengths, weaknesses, and goals, organizing the discussions however the faculty and students prefer. The self-review shall be a concise document. The faculty should vote on the final draft and report the vote tally. The results of the vote must include the number of eligible voters.

When IDPs are being reviewed, they must submit letters of commitment from all departments that are part of or contribute to the IDP. IDPs must also submit two copies of the CVs for all departmental faculty members who are expected to contribute courses to the IDP and those faculty serving on the Committee to Administer the Interdepartmental Degree Program (CAIDP). In their letter of commitment, the department should outline activities that will contribute toward their support of the IDP (e.g., provide a set number of PTEs in heavily subscribed required courses for IDP students, etc.).

The self-review shall be submitted to the Councils via the Program Review Director in the spring quarter of the academic year prior to the scheduled review. The deadline for submission of the self-review will be specified in the review notification letter sent by the Program Review Director. [Am 13 Nov 01, 01 Nov 07; 12 Nov 09]

UgC and GC shall seek advice concerning both UCLA and external scholars who could serve as internal or external reviewers and the duration and organization of the site visit. Advice shall be sought from Senate members of the unit to be reviewed, from other appropriate Senate sources, and from relevant academic administrators. The list of external scholars obtained in this way shall be forwarded to the administrative officer (e.g., Dean) of the unit under review, who should comment on the list and may add names. UgC and GC rosters shall be made available to those from whom advice is sought.  UgC and GC may also make use of non-confidential information from the Committee on Academic Personnel database used to nominate ad hoc committees for academic personnel reviews. [Am 13 Nov 01, 01 Nov 07]

The immediately incoming and immediately outgoing UgC and GC Chairs (ordinarily a total of 4 people) shall select the members of each program review team, considering the advice they have received. The Chairs' selections shall be subject to ratification by the UgC and GC. The review team will ordinarily consist of two UgC members, two GC members, and two external scholars. However, the composition is flexible. For small units, as few as one UgC member, one GC member, and one external scholar is acceptable; for large units, more than two external scholars may be needed. If only one GC or UgC member is assigned, an alternate may be designated. As an exception, one of the two designated UgC or two designated GC members may be a previous member of the Council experienced in program reviews but not at present serving on either Council. The decision is made by the UgC and GC Chairs after consultation with the unit chair and dean. [Am 13 Nov 01, 01 Nov 07; 12 Nov 09]

The immediately incoming and immediately outgoing UgC and GC Chairs (ordinarily a total of 4 people) shall establish the basic structure of the site visit, considering the advice they have received. Ordinarily, the site visit will last two days. For small units, it may be shorter; for large units, longer. Ordinarily, the review team will work as one group. However, for large units and/or longer site visits, the team may divide up at certain times.

Prior to the site visit, UgC and GC will invite the Council on Planning and Budget (CPB), the Executive Vice Chancellor, the Academic Dean, the Graduate Division, the Division of Undergraduate Education, and the unit chair, to inform UgC and GC
of issues they feel are important to the review, including issues raised in previous reviews. The unit's self-review will be available to them. [Am 01 Nov 07;Am 12 Nov 09]

Prior to the site visit, review team members shall receive a copy of this appendix, the self-review, the memorandum of progress from the previous review, the graduate and undergraduate statistical data sheets, any surveys, the most recent strategic plan of the relevant division or school, and any letters identifying important issues for the review (see 7). The external reviewers shall have the opportunity to address preliminary evaluation of the degree programs and issues that should be pursued during the site visit and to make this statement available when the review team first meets. [Am 13 Nov 01; Am 12 Nov 09]

Each review team shall conduct its site visit at UCLA. The schedule for the site visit shall be established by the unit chair and review team chair. However, it is understood that the review team may elect to change the schedule at any time during the site visit. The following elements shall be part of each site visit: private time each day for the review team to discuss its work; private meetings with the unit chair, and academic dean, individual or group meetings with a representative sample of faculty; individual or group meetings with representative samples of students in each degree program under review; open time for faculty and students to sign up for individual or group meetings (as they choose); and unscheduled time in the latter part of the site visit when the review team may meet with whomever it wishes. [Am 13 Nov 01]

Graduate Student Association (GSA) representatives serving on the UgC and GC, and the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) representatives serving on the UgC, shall have access to the following review materials: self-review, internal reviews, external reviews, student surveys ,and statistical information. Graduate and undergraduate students appointed to the Councils may join review teams when the teams meet with students in the unit under review. Students in the unit under review will be informed that they may contact the UgC and GC student representatives and organizations before or after this meeting, especially about sensitive topics. The GSA and/or USAC representatives to UgC and GC may summarize these comments for the review team. These UgC and GC student representatives are also invited to participate in all UgC and GC discussions about student input in the review and the review report unless they are in the department under review. [Am 01 Nov 07; Am 12 Nov 09]

The purpose of the review report is a candid, thoughtful, objective appraisal of the unit under review. The review report should incorporate the opinions of both the external and internal reviewers. The chair of the review team shall be responsible for the final review report, which is due within four (academic session) weeks after the site visit. The external reviewers shall each submit an individual report within two (academic session) weeks after the site visit. The review report shall be a concise document. It shall (a) present the strengths and achievements of the unit, (b) comment on the unit's plans and goals, and (c) provide a prioritized set of recommendations, with brief rationales, for how to address any areas needing attention. The list of recommendations should address critical issues, and to the extent possible, the report shall integrate the UgC and GC perspectives into one narrative and the UgC and GC recommendations into one set. The review report shall include the data summary. The review report shall have appended to it the unit's self-review narrative and the reports of the external reviewers. [Am 13 Nov 01, 01 Nov 07]

After preliminary approval by the UgC and GC Administrative Committee, the draft of the complete report, which includes but is not limited to draft recommendations, external reviewers' reports, and the self-review narrative) shall be sent to the unit chair who will review it for errors of fact and errors of omission only. At this stage, the report is a confidential draft and should not be shared with faculty in the unit, unless their consultation for fact checking is necessary. Similarly, the draft report may not be shared with the external reviewers. Responses to substantive issues are not appropriate and will not be incorporated into nor forwarded to the Councils with the draft, which will will be corrected for factual errors. The chair must respond within one (academic session) week. If no response is received, the report will be assumed to be factually correct. The unit will have the opportunity to respond to substantial issues after receiving the final report.

The final report, corrected as needed and with the approved recommendations by the appropriate Council(s), shall be sent to CPB, appropriate administrators, the unit chair, the chair of the relevant Faculty Executive Committee, and CPB. All review team members, including the external reviewers, will be sent a copy of the final approved report. [Am 13 Nov 01; Am 01 Nov 07; Am 12 Nov 09]

The unit chair and academic dean shall submit written statements which include descriptions of actions planned and already taken in response to the review. The faculty must vote on the departmental response and report the vote tally. The results of the votre must include the number of eligible voters.These statements (which constitute the Progress Review Report) shall be submitted to UgC and GC no later than eleven months after the review report is distributed by UgC and GC. [Am 13 Nov 01; Am 01 Nov 07; Am 12 Nov 09]

The Progress Review Report will be reviewed by the Review Team Chair who will provide a summary to the Councils. The Review Team Chair will recommned to the Councils one of the following:

  1. The Progress review meeting (see below) should be waived and closure is recommended for the Councils' approval. If so approved, the Review Team Chair's summary will serve as the closure report (see below)
  2. A progress review meeting should be scheduled. Closure of the review and the next review date will be determined as a result of  that meeting, subject to approval by Councils. The Memorandum of Progress/Closure Report will be recommended for Councils' approval after the progress review meeting.
  3. The progress review meeting should be postponed pending an internal site visit, subject to the approval of the Councils.

If the Progress Review Meeting is held, it shall be scheduled one year to eighteen months after the site visit. the UgC and GC invite attendees. They shall include the relevant dean and unit chair and the chairs of GC and UgC or their representatives. Participants at the Progress Review Meeting shall discuss the review findings and recommendations and the Progress Report. [Am 01 Nov 07]

Based on the Progress Review Meeting, the Council Chairs or designated representatives shall produce a Memorandum of Progress, which shall be included in the official record of the review.  The Memorandum of Progress would typically include the Progress Review Report along with any additional issues discussed at the Progress Review Meeting.  The Memorandum of Progress shall also describe any further actions that UgC and GC anticipate the unit will take prior to the next review. If the Review Team Chair recommeds and Councils approve closure, the Memorandum of Progress will consitute the closure report. [Am 13 Nov 01; Am 01 Nov 07]

The UgC and GC participants at the Progress Review Meeting may decide that the progress has been unsatisfactory.  If so, they will bring the recommendation for an Internal Review to the Councils for a vote.  If Councils recommend an internal review, they will conduct an abbreviated version of a site visit targeted to the remaining problematic issues.  The internal review team will usually consist of one representative from each Council and no external reviewers.  At the conclusion of the site visit, the unit chair and academic dean shall be informed in writing as to the outstanding issues, what is needed to achieve closure of the internal review process, and the time period within which it should be accomplished.  The internal review team shall be responsible for monitoring progress and recommending closure to UgC and GC.  UgC and GC shall confirm the recommendation to close the internal review and set the date for the next review.  At this time, they shall also write an internal review describing any further actions that UgC and GC recommend the unit take prior to the next review. This letter will be provided to the review team at the time of the next review.  [En 13 Nov 01: Am 01 Nov 07]

Year for Next Review.  The year of the next scheduled review for each unit shall be tentatively set by UgC and GC at the time the review report is approved. The final date shall be confirmed by Councils after the Progress Review Meeting. Normally, the next site visit will be scheduled 8 years after the current site visit. The reviews of units that are also reviewed by accreditation teams should, as much as possible, be coordinated with the accreditation evaluation, assuming the unit wishes such coordination. In scheduling the year of the next review, consideration may also be given to evening out the number of reviews conducted by the Councils in a given year. [Am 13 Nov 01; Am 01 Nov 07]

On rare occasions, when compelling need has been demonstrated, UgC and GC may decide to review a unit earlier than scheduled. The request to consider an early review may be initiated by either Council or by students, faculty members, or administrators directly associated with the unit. The UgC and GC will decide whether there is a basis for considering the request. If so, they will carry out preliminary fact finding to decide whether to grant the request. It is expected that requests for early reviews will be made infrequently.

Cause for the suspension of admissions includes but is not limited to a program's failure to fulfill its teaching and research mission, disregard for student and/or faculty welfare, and /or the inability to deliver its programmatic offerings in an adequate manner to current or prospective student cohorts. A suspension of admissions may also be cause for the recommendation of academic receivership. [En 01 Nov 07]

Academic receivership is defined as the appointment of an individual external to the unit who will be vested with sufficient administrative authoritity to oversee implementation of the recommendations of the Councils. The appointment of a receiver falls under the purview of the relevant dean or provost. The receiver may be appointed chair, or may be charged to work closely with the chair as a temporary administrative adjunct.

The Senate Report may include a recommendation to the relevant administrator that a unit be placed in academic receivership. Cause for the recommendation for receivership includes, but is not limited to cases where an academic unit is unable or unwilling to govern itself in accordance with the principles of shared governance, where it is in noncompliance with the Academic Senate's Program Review process, where it is failing to fulfill its teaching and research mission, where disregard for student and faculty welfare is evident; or where the inability to deliver its programmatic offerings in an adequate manner to current or prospective student cohorts is in evidence. In each case, the recommendation for receivership will be accompanied by a recommendation for an early review. [En 01 Nov 07]

Should the unit under review prove to be unwilling, unable, or incapable of adequately addressing the issues that lead to a suspension of admissions and/or a recommendation for receivership, the Graduate and/or Undergraduate Council may initiate any of the actions set forth in Appendix V. In such an instance, the "procedures for transfer, consolidation, disestablishment, and discontinuance of academic programs and units" will be followed. [En 01 Nov 07]