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Tips for Department Chairs: External Reviewers

  • The reviewer's task involves reviewing the self-study prior to the site visit, conducting the site visit, and submitting a final report within two weeks of the site visit, following the format indicated in the External Reviewer Report Guidelines. The report is to be returned to the Dean and Department Chair, who will forward a copy to the Program Review Chair. The reviewer should make all their own travel arrangements for the site visit, but suggestions about local hotels, advice on airports, etc would be helpful.
  • By mid-July of the review year, the Department Chair will submit a list of possible reviewers to the College Dean using the External Reviewer Selection and Requirements. The Dean will vet and rank the candidates, and make a recommendation to the Provost. Once selected, the Department Chair sends the self-study documents to the reviewer.
  • Paperwork will need to be completed in order to get the external reviewer hired and paid. It is vital to get the process started early because it requires some cooperation from the reviewer in filling out and returning forms. The documents needed are "Independent Contractor/Consultant/Employee Worksheet" and "W-9 Form". These forms are sent by the Department Chair to the reviewer for completion and can be found on the Business Office website.
  • The site visit will be at least one full day. The department is responsible for all arrangements and schedules for the site visit. It is suggested to schedule meetings and rooms as soon as possible. Calendars fill quickly, especially the Provost's. When scheduling the meetings during the site visit, the very first and very last (exit) appointment should be a joint meeting with the reviewer, Provost and College Dean. The reviewer's schedule should include separate meetings with faculty (individuals or groups, depending on time), students (possibly separating undergraduates and graduate students), and other relevant groups/individuals on-campus (i.e. Director of Assessment.) A meeting will also need to be scheduled with the Program Review Committee; contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for assistance scheduling that meeting.  The intent is to give the reviewer exposure that is as broad as possible and let them investigate and dig-deeper into items in the self-study.