Agenda Item No. VI. C. 1.

Washburn University Board of Regents


Summary of AY2005-2006 Program Review


See attached




Board of Regents information item.

___________________ ________________________

Date Jerry B. Farley, President

Summary of AY2005-2006 Program Review

July 13, 2006


For the past fourteen years, Washburn University departments have engaged in a process of self-study and peer review known as "program review." Program review provides the opportunity for every program to evaluate itself and to be evaluated by others on a regular basis. Part introspection and part peer review, Washburn's program review process is an important component of the University's administrative processes.

Every department (academic and administrative) is reviewed on a five-year cycle. Departments that are being reviewed in a given year begin by conducting an internal self-study, looking at mission, goals and objectives, outcomes, strengths and weaknesses, and then suggest plans for improvement over the next five years. This self-study, which also serves as preparation for University and (where appropriate) program accreditation, is presented as a report to the Program Review Committee, which is co-chaired by the VPAA and the VPAT, and has a campus-wide representative membership of faculty and staff. The committee reviews the self-study documents, interviews the departments, then prepares a summary report for each department under review. The committee's report includes a rating of the program and recommendations for future action.

Copies of the Program Review Committee's summary reports and the program self-studies are on file in the Academic Affairs Office.

Units Reviewed in AY2005-2006

Nine academic departments or schools, one academic support unit, and seven administrative areas where reviewed in the last academic year. These include:

Academic Departments or Schools: School of Business; Office, Legal, and Technology Department; Political Science; Music; Human Services; History; Criminal Justice; Communication; and Computer Information Sciences.

Academic Support Units: Mabee Library

Administrative Departments: Registrar's Office; Budget Planning and Analysis; Admissions; Information Systems and Services; Financial Aid; Business Services; and Human Resources.

Summary of Ratings

Programs may be rated as "outstanding," "operating at an acceptable level," "low," or "significant problems,". In the "grading scale" of the program review process, "operating at an acceptable level" means that the department is meeting its goals and objectives. In other words, "acceptable" is a good grade. Only programs that are demonstrated to be truly exceptional are given outstanding ratings.

Of the 17 units reviewed in AY2005-2006, 16 were evaluated to be operating at an acceptable level, and only one (the School of Business) was rated "outstanding." The Program Review Committee has a history awarding the highest rating to only a very few programs.

Summary of Recommended Actions

Four units were asked to provide additional or follow up information to the committee. Five units was asked to give a follow up report in two years on their progress in developing assessment programs, while five other units were urged to further develop assessment programs, but were not required to submit a two-year follow up report. The committee recommended that three units develop strategic plans. Four units were "singled out for further development." This recommendation from the Program Review Committee means that special attention should be paid to resource allocation for these units. (Generally, these are units where staffing or operating budgets may need additional attention.) These recommendations serve as input to the administration as it prepares future budgets.


Academic Year 2005-2006 marked the fourth year of the third five-year cycle. Program review is an essential activity for the campus, as it requires of each area a time of introspection, and provides all areas with a better understanding of the mission, goals and objectives of each area.

Program Review Committee members 2005-2006

Ron Wasserstein (VPAA) and Wanda Hill (VPAT), co-chairs

Denise Ottinger (VPSL), Chris Leach (Director of Finance), Dean Corwin (Mabee Library), Nora Clark (Nursing), Bill Roach (Business), Jay Memmott (Social Work), Ann Marie Snook (CAS B Creative and Performing Arts), Bill Wagnon (CAS B Social Sciences), John Mullican (CAS B Natural Sciences and Mathematics), Robert Stein (CAS B Humanities), Sandy Tutwiler (CAS B Education and HPEES), Vincent Bowhay (student), Andrea Chancey (student), and Paige Pfannensteil (student).

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