The External Review

The purpose of an external review is to obtain an external and objective perspective about the program. The reviewer will be asked to make a one-day site visit, during which he or she will meet with the program’s students and faculty, school director and College dean, provost, with faculty from related fields, and, where appropriate, with alumni, employers and other external constituencies as well as any other individuals necessary for formulating a well-informed understanding about the program’s current state and future direction.  The reviewer will also visit relevant facilities. The program, in consultation with the dean and with the assistance of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management, will develop the schedule for the visit and make the logistical arrangements.

The reviewer will be asked to prepare a brief report highlighting the findings and recommendations from the visit.

Programs with external accreditation may use that site visit in lieu of this component of the program review.

Here’s how the process works:

Task 1 – In consultation with the College dean, identify a candidate to serve as an external reviewer. 
Reviewers should be recognized scholars in their field and usually should be senior faculty members at peer institutions. Exceptions may be made in special cases. Reviewers should not include individuals who have been (or are) an employee, candidate, or consultant with the university over the last five years; in familial or close relationships with individuals at Marymount or with professional connections to the program or its faculty; or in any other way potentially biased in regards to Marymount.

  • The School director should send the name, affiliation, and credentials of one or more potential reviewers to the dean for consideration. The dean will select a candidate, subject to approval by the provost. If programs are struggling to identify an appropriate reviewer, identify three peer universities, and the school dean will contact his or her counterparts to solicit nominations for reviewers.
  • School directors SHOULD NOT contact potential reviewers until the dean and provost have made their selection. The dean’s office will communicate with the approved candidate and make the logistical arrangements for the visit.
  • Travel, accommodation, and a small honorarium will be provided by Academic Affairs. Reviewers are responsible for making their own travel plans and are expected to pay the cost of transportation, hotel, and meals. The reviewer will be reimbursed for these expenses upon submission of an invoice and all original receipts. The paperwork for reimbursement and payment of the honorarium willl be submitted to Accounts Payable when the completed program review report is received.

Task 2 – Coordinate the reviewer’s documentation and site visit.

  • Notify PIE of the reviewer’s name and affiliation and the scheduled date of the visit.
  • Several weeks in advance of the reviewer’s visit, the School director will send the reviewer the program review and all of the supporting materials.
  • Schedule meetings and interviews for the site visit. These should include an entry meeting with the provost, an entry meeting with the dean, meetings with program faculty (both full-time and adjunct), meeting with students, additional meetings as requested by the reviewer, and an exit interview with the dean and/or provost. The program may include meetings with alumni and/or employers and other program constituents.
  • The School director should provide an assistant to escort the reviewer to and from meetings.

Task 3 – After receiving the reviewer’s comments, draft a response to the reviewer’s report that provides clarification, additional material or relevant information.

  • Attach both reviewer’s report and program’s response to the program review.
  • If a program is using the report from an external accrediting body, the program should provide a map that crosswalks between the components of this report and the report from the external accrediting body. The program is responsible for ensuring that the report includes responses to each of the components of the MU program review template.