Agenda Item No. ______

Washburn University Board of Regents



SUBJECT: Summary of Program Review Activities during Academic Year 2003‑2004





See attached.










Board of Regents information item.



  ___________________                   _________________________

(date)                                      Jerry B. Farley, President

Summary of AY2003-2004 Program Review

September 20, 2004


For the past twelve 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 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.

Departments Reviewed in AY2003-2004

Seven academic departments and five administrative areas where reviewed in the last academic year. These include:

Academic Departments: Education, English, HPEES, Mass Media, Philosophy, Social Work, Theatre

Administrative Departments: Finance, Student Health Services, Human Resources, Intercollegiate Athletics, KTWU

Two departments (Finance and Human Resources) were reviewed ahead of the normal review schedule to address concerns expressed in their previous program review.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 11 departments reviewed in AY2002-2003, 10 were evaluated to be operating at an acceptable level, and one (Student Health Services) was rated outstanding.

Summary of Recommended Actions

The Program Review Committee continued to pay particularly close attention to the assessment programs of academic departments. Assessment of student learning is becoming part of the culture of the University, so the Program Review Committee wanted to ensure that assessment programs are healthy and thriving. Therefore, the committee placed an emphasis on closing assessment Afeedback loops@.  That is, departments were challenged to ensure that assessment data is used to effect change where necessary. 

Additional funding was recommended for one department.  Both departments that were reviewed early (Finance and HR) were recommended for return to the normal program review cycle.  Two departments were challenged to strengthen their collaboration, and to report back in two years on their progress.


Academic Year 2003-2004 marked the second 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 2003-2004

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), David Ryan (Law), Tony Naylor (CAS B Creative and Performing Arts), Bill Wagnon (CAS B Social Sciences), Cecil Schmidt (CAS B Natural Sciences and Mathematics), Robert Stein (CAS B Humanities), Michael Rettig (CAS B Education and HPEES), Mary Gannaway (student), Matthew Rodriguez (student)


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