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External Reviews of Departments and Programs, 2009-10 Overview Amy Mullin, Interim Vice-Principal Academic & Dean.

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Presentation on theme: "External Reviews of Departments and Programs, 2009-10 Overview Amy Mullin, Interim Vice-Principal Academic & Dean."— Presentation transcript:

1 External Reviews of Departments and Programs, 2009-10 Overview Amy Mullin, Interim Vice-Principal Academic & Dean

2 New Quality Assurance Framework A new Quality Assurance Framework has been developed, as required of all Ontario universities. Details of its full mandate were discussed by Lynn Snowden at the Nov. 3 meeting of AAC. External reviews, governed by this framework, occur at intervals of 7-10 years. Supervised by the new provincial Quality Council, which is responsible for auditing the process.

3 Role of External Reviews External reviewers are chosen on the basis of administrative experience and wide-respect within their fields. We typically choose one Canadian and one U.S. reviewer. They assist in determining the quality of the program or department, make recommendations for improvement, and raise any significant areas of concern. Often external reviews coincide with a chair’s end of term and help shape the mandate for the new chair.

4 External Review Process Preparation and submission of internal self-study by program director or departmental chair in context of widespread consultation with faculty, staff, cognate units and students. Increasingly templates and data to be used in self-study will be provided centrally. Programs, research, teaching, governance and plans for the future to be discussed, along with measures of quality to assess the program or department against national and international peers. External reviewers (typically 2 for a department) visit campus for two days and prepare their report for the Dean. Important that report provides detailed evaluation of programs and curriculum.

5 Response to the External Review Department chair or program director prepares a response. The external review and unit response are forwarded to the provost’s office. Provost writes request for specific decanal response. Review summary and decanal response are shared with Committee on Academic Policy & Programs (AP&P), Academic Board, Academic Affairs and Erindale College Council.

6 2009-10 Reviews Department of Anthropology Program in Forensic Science (housed within the Department of Anthropology) Department of Historical Studies

7 Anthropology Visit November 3-4, 2009 Dr. Judith Irvine, University of Michigan Dr. Michael Blake, University of British Columbia Chair in 2009-10: Professor Gary Crawford

8 Major Findings- Positive Elements Excellent job in course development to reflect diverse subfields within anthropology High praise for faculty and courses they teach Excellent new hires, strong research productivity overall

9 Concerns Stagnant enrolment Curriculum: complicated prerequisites, sharp division between science and arts degrees, availability of 400 level courses Writing skills of students Staffing organization Space needs Governance – need for more participation and transparency Tri-campus relations – increase graduate student presence extensive graduate department service by faculty

10 Response to review Curriculum renewal initiative Increased attention to students’ writing skills, more connection with RGASC Will receive appropriate new space with move to HSC in September 2011 (though planned new teaching lab in Davis Bldg delayed, chairs committed to sharing teaching labs in Davis Bldg) Reassessment of duties of staff

11 Anthropology response continued Executive ctte established to advise chair, more consultation with department members and committees Use of funds from GEF to increase interactions between graduate students and undergraduates, and research activities on campus Discussions with graduate chair to ensure faculty members’ service not as heavily weighted to graduate department

12 Forensic Science Dr. Max Houck, West Virginia University Visit December 2-3, 2009 Program Director in 2009-10, Professor Martin Evison (resigned position with university in 2010)

13 Major Findings- Positive Elements Excellent reputation Good placement record Attracts students of high calibre Support from the Centre of Forensic Sciences, Toronto Police Department, Office of the Coroner and other external stakeholders

14 Significant concerns Concern about location of program within Department of Anthropology, authority of program director Concerns about course content and coordination of courses Concerns about faculty complement Concerns that program does not meet standards for accreditation Need for dedicated space for teaching laboratories

15 Response Temporarily halted admissions to program (re- opened February 2011) Appointed new director, committed to program and to working cooperatively with other units at UTM, secured faculty commitments to teaching in program, good working relationship with Anthropology Chair Curricular review – anthropology and psychology streams reconfigured so that students can meet requirements of specialist, chemistry and biology streams now meet requirements for accreditation

16 Response continued Teaching laboratories are adequate (external reviewer not shown them), access to cottage for “crime scene” analysis Planned hire of limited term lecturer in Forensic biology or biochemistry, teaching needs to be re-evaluated in 2 years Will pursue accreditation for biology and chemistry streams (only streams eligible for accreditation)

17 Historical Studies Visit December 7-8, 2009 Prof. Anthony Pinn, Dept of Religious Studies, Rice University Professor John Zucchi, Dept. of History and Classical Studies, McGill University Chair in 2009-10: Professor Robert Johnson

18 Major Findings – Positive Elements Integration of several disciplines into a single unit has been received enthusiastically by faculty Faculty members are dedicated to their students Curriculum sensitive to interests of students Faculty talented researchers and teachers

19 Concerns Opportunity for clearer intellectual identity of department Need for more presence of faculty and graduate students at UTM, more teaching by faculty with continuing appointments in large courses, more faculty involvement in student advising Governance – suggest clearer governance structure, more standing committees, increased mentorship of junior faculty Need for increased staffing

20 Response Intellectual identity of department continues to evolve, new appointments bridge areas of scholarly and teaching interest, other areas of common interest (such as pedagogy or digital humanities) connect faculty from different disciplines Clearer governance structure established, more standing committees appointed, terms of reference developed for them Staffing increased 0.5 FTE

21 Historical Studies Response continued External reviewers misunderstood – faculty already involved in academic advising, continuing appointment faculty do teach at least one large course each (with rare and decreasing exceptions), more fourth year courses to be taught by faculty with continuing appointments Director of Intellectual Community appointed to increase faculty and graduate student presence on campus, mentors to be more fully engaged with new faculty

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