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

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external reviews of departments and programs 2009 10

External Reviews of Departments and Programs, 2009-10

Overview

Amy Mullin, Interim Vice-Principal Academic & Dean

new quality assurance framework
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.
role of external reviews
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.
external review process
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.
response to the external review
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.
2009 10 reviews
2009-10 Reviews
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Program in Forensic Science (housed within the Department of Anthropology)
  • Department of Historical Studies
anthropology
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
major findings positive elements
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
concerns
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 presenceextensive graduate department service by faculty
response to review
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
anthropology response continued
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
forensic science
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)
major findings positive elements1
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
significant concerns
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
response
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
response continued
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)
historical studies
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
major findings positive elements2
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
concerns1
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
response1
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
historical studies response continued
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