External Review

Within the process of program review, the external review provides an independent and broad perspective on the program. 

Selecting the External Reviewer 

  1. Work with your program faculty to select 3-5 potential candidates to conduct the external review and contact them to solicit interest. Candidates should hold faculty rank (or the equivalent) in a similar program, or have a significant professional reputation in the field. In the case of disciplinary or professional accreditation, the accrediting body may have policies regarding the visiting team. If your program needs help recruiting reviewers, Academic Programs can make a system-wide request.

  2. Interested candidates submit their CVs and a cover letter or email indicating their interest to the program review lead or department chair.

  3. Submit a list of confirmed potential candidates to your school dean, who selects the external reviewer in consultation with the program faculty.

  4. Notify Academic Programs of the choice, providing contact information, CV, and potential dates for the external review.

  5. Academic Programs sends a letter of invitation to the external reviewer for the dates specified.

  6. With input from your fellow faculty, work directly with the external reviewer in setting up the itinerary and agenda for the visit. Ensure that the external reviewer has the time and resources necessary to complete an effective review and meet with all relevant stakeholders. Inform your dean and Academic Programs of the agenda. 

  7. Provide the selected reviewer with the self-study and other relevant materials at least two weeks prior to the visit.

  8. The external reviewer is responsible for making his/her own travel and lodging arrangements. We generally recommend flying to Oakland or San Francisco and taking the Airport Express to the Doubletree. There are limited daily flights into Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport.

  9. The external reviewer sends the report to the program and to Academic Programs within 4 weeks of the visit. Payment of $1500 is processed and sent to the external reviewer.

Planning the Visit 

  1. Schedule formal meetings in advance with the department/program chair, school dean, and AVP of Academic Programs. 

  2. The external reviewer meets with program faculty. Faculty can determine the most appropriate way to schedule meetings. Ensure that there is an opportunity for the review to meet with lecturers as well as tenure-line faculty and a chance to meet with junior faculty and senior faculty separately. 

  3. The program faculty or the external reviewer may identify other stakeholders, including faculty from other departments, liaison librarians, staff, program graduates, community partners, business partners, etc.

  4. Schedule a meeting with students; this might be a lunch meeting or other informal gathering. 

  5. A tour of relevant campus facilities (classrooms, library, laboratories, performance venues, etc.) is recommended. 

  6. Allow for a brief visit with Human Resources (thirty minutes) to document identification for payment authorization. 

  7. You may wish to schedule an informal meeting with faculty in addition to the more formal meetings. This may be a lunch, dinner, or reception, as appropriate.