About Academic Unit Reviews
The Academic Unit Review process is housed within the Office of Assessment and Planning at Brigham Young University. The unit review process is supported by a director and an administrative assistant who plan, execute, and coordinate academic reviews. We operate under the direction of the assistant to the president for assessment and planning, who reports to the university president.
The two primary purposes of unit reviews are to
(1) support the unit’s continuous improvement and
(2) inform unit strategic planning.
Each unit introspectively reviews its progress over the past seven years, examines future directions, and plans the appropriate actions needed to achieve its established strategic objectives. This is articulated in the self-study that the unit faculty prepare to be given to the review team.
The self-study includes a description of, reflection on, and plans for:
- Unit strategic plan, including mission, goals, and objectives
- Inspiring learning and student-centered scholarship
- Programs and students
- Administration and staffing
- Facilities and space
- A two-day on-site visit by reviewers from other universities and members of BYU’s University Academic Review Council.
This team is composed of internal and external faculty evaluators. The two external evaluators come from distinguished institutions from around the U.S. who are experts in the unit’s discipline. Additionally, the team includes individuals from the unit review council who are faculty from academic units at BYU.
The review team uses the self-study as the foundation for its interviews with faculty, staff, and students, as well as other stakeholders (e.g., supervisors, lab directors, and so forth.).
The results of the on-site visit include:
- An external report that provides an expert evaluation by people in the discipline.
- An independent internal report.
- An external evaluation of selected graduate products (if applicable).
The reports recognize the unit’s successes and provide recommendations for improvement. The process assists the unit and the university in making improvements and provides evidence of assessment and improvement for accreditation.