AUDIT AND REVIEW OF UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

No: S-8

Date: April 17, 1975

Authority: UWM Faculty Document 907A,
                  Amended by Senate Executive
                  Committee May 30, 1975


The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Faculty Senate has adopted the following policy statements:

I.       (a) The primary responsibility for evaluating academic programs rests with the faculty;

(b) The need for a systematic evaluation of undergraduate programs is hereby recognized;

(c) An audit and review must precede any action to consolidate, reorganize, or phase out an academic program, when objection to such action is
     raised by the affected department or equivalent instructional unit; and,

(d) To implement the above policies, the procedures set forth below (II) are approved, with the understanding that the Faculty Senate will have the      opportunity to assess the feasibility and appropriateness of the procedures after they have been operation one academic year.

II.    PROCEDURES FOR AUDIT AND REVIEW OF UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS

A three-stage audit and review process will utilize quantitative data, assembled largely by the administration, and qualitative judgments of faculty. Briefly summarized, stage one would involve the collection of data, an audit, and the selection of departments or programs to be reviewed in a given academic year. At stage two, those units selected for review would prepare the departmental or unit self-evaluation reports. Stage three would call for the appointment of an ad hoc review committee for each unit to be reviewed and for the evaluation of the committee's report and recommendation, with feedback to all interested parties.

A.    Stage One: Audit and Initial Screening Process

An annual audit will be made of all undergraduate programs. The Office of Institutional Research will prepare statistical profiles on all units and report a ratio of student credit hours to full-time equivalent faculty, the trend in student credit hours delivered, and the student contact hours. In addition, the above office will undertake to provide appropriate bench marks for interpreting the reported data: i.e., figures from comparable departments, affinity groups, or statistical means or averages. Before using the statistical profiles for annual audits, the Office of Institutional Research will forward to each department a copy of its profile to permit a check on the accuracy of the data, and if the department so chooses it may submit comments and rebuttal. The statistical profile, along with the critical indicators, will provide the data base for the audit conducted by the Academic Program and Curriculum Committee, in cooperation with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

While all undergraduate programs will be subject to full academic review, only a limited number will selected in a given academic year. Selection will be by alphabetical order; provided, however, that the Academic Program and Curriculum Committee may suspend that ordering system under the following circumstances: a) where a department or instructional unit requests a review, b) where striking and unusual events in a department of programmatic area dictate the need for academic review (i.e., unexpected loss of key faculty), c) where the annual audit suggests the substantial need for a review, and d) where there are substantial indications of dissatisfaction with the program by students or faculty. The vice chancellor will notify the units selected for review and forward to them, and to their deans, copies of the statistical profiles, including the critical indicators and any bench marks generated by the Office of Institutional Studies. The units so notified will be requested to start preparing the self-evaluation reports.

B.   Stage Two: Self-Evaluation Reports

A standard three-part format will be provided for the self-evaluation reports. Part I will be a basic data sheet which can be filled out, in large measure, from information readily available from the statistical profile; however, there are some data that only the reporting unit can supply. For example, each department will be asked to prepare a chart showing in the left-hand column the total number of faculty, by name and rank, including graduate teaching assistants and part-time instructors, and in the appropriate rows, to give the undergraduate courses, identified by course numbers, that were taught by each member of the faculty in the past six (6) regular semesters, excluding summer sessions. If the curriculum of the undergraduate program is divided into different options or subfields, reporting units will be asked to: a) give those subdivisions, and list the faculty, by teaching and research interest, under the appropriate heading, and b) give the number of undergraduate courses taught in each subdivision for the past six regular semesters. Departments will be asked to indicate three related departments or academic areas at UWM from which faculty might be chosen to review their undergraduate programs.

Part II of the format will request each department or reporting unit to provide an interpretation of the statistical profile. In instances where there is little change in the data, the report may be very brief. If there is significant change in the profile, especially inthe critical indicators, the chairperson of the review unit may welcome the opportunity to make a more extended report.

Part III of the self-evaluation format will request review units; a) to set forth, in narrative form, the goals and objectives of their units; b) to describe the major strength and particular characteristics of their program; c) to indicate any weaknesses or deficiencies; d) to suggest the resources that would be needed to eliminate the deficiencies; and e) to briefly describe plans for future development.

When relevant and with appropriate updating, accreditation reports on professional programs prepared within the past five years may be submitted in lieu of the self-analysis report from review units. It may also be noted that departmental reports prepared for graduate and undergraduate reviews, while different in points of focus, do share much common ground; therefore, data collected for one will be useful in completing the other.

The departmental report will be sent to the dean of the reporting unit who may attach additional information or interpretive comments before forwarding copies to the secretary of the Academic Program and Curriculum Committee.

C.    Stage Three: Evaluation and Feedback

For each department, program or unit selected for evaluation, the vice chancellor in consultation with the Academic Program and Curriculum Committee, shall appoint an ad hoc review committee. In general, review committees should consist of three persons, one of whom may be, if deemed necessary by the Academic Program and Curriculum Committee and the vice chancellor in consultation with the department, an outside consultant chosen from a list supplied by the department. The UWM members will be appointed from academic areas designated as related disciplines by the units under review. Each ad hoc committee will have available the statistical profile and the departmental report. In addition, the committee would be expected to meet with the faculty and students, attempt to assess student evaluations, to consult with the dean of the unit under review, and to contact alumni.

The UWM members of the ad hoc review teams will have the responsibility of preparing reports of committees and submitting recommendations. The reports should culminate with a specific recommendation to strengthen, maintain, consolidate, reorganize, or phase out the academic program under review. The reports of the ad hoc review committees will be forwarded to the Academic Program and Curriculum Committee, and copies will be directed to the units being reviewed and to the relevant deans.

In hearings before the Academic Program and Curriculum Committee, review units and their deans will have an opportunity to respond, orally or in writing, to the reports and recommendations and to propose amendments and modifications. Drawing upon the work of the ad hoc review committee and the responses, if any, from department chairperson or program director, the Academic Program and Curriculum Committee, in each instance will prepare or certify a report with appropriate recommendations and forward the initial copy to the unit being reviewed. If there are any exceptions to the report and recommendations, these must be heard and acted upon before copies of the final document are forwarded to the dean of the school or college concerned, to the vice chancellor, and, if faculty action is required, to the UWM Faculty Senate.

III.   ADMINISTRATION OF UNDERGRADUATE REVIEWS

The Academic Program and Curriculum Committee is the unit of faculty governance at UWM primarily responsible for the supervision of undergraduate reviews. In addition to proposing the general procedures and guidelines, it will have the duty to monitor the program and to recommend such modifications in policy and procedure as time and experience seem to dictate. The Office of the Vice Chancellor will provide administrative support.