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Guidelines for Visiting Committees conducting External Reviews

Departments to be reviewed will be chosen by the Provost, in consultation with CAP and Curriculum Committee.  Departments will be asked for their views on the timing of reviews.

Most External Reviews are conducted jointly with Haverford College, so counterpart departments on both campuses are visited simultaneously.

Visiting Committees will examine the total program of a given department with the purpose of helping the department make a more effective contribution to the life of the College. In addition, Visiting Committees will be interested in the professional activities of faculty within a department for the same purpose. Additional, specific charges to the Committees may be framed by the administration and/or the department, the Committee on Academic Priorities (CAP), the Curriculum Committee, and/or the Educational Policy Committee (EPC).

Visiting Committees will base their work first on a self-study by the department under review. The self-study should include long and short-run goals, the role of the research of department members, the disposition and resources of the department, as well as plans, ideals, suggestions for improvements, etc.

Visiting Committee members will be drawn from outside the College. Suggestions for membership of Visiting Committees will be solicited from the department under reivew, from the counterpart department at Haverford (if any).  Membership will not, however, necessarily be confined to names so suggested.

Visiting Committees will be asked to meet two or three times on campus.  Visiting Committees will also meet with members of the department under review, members of other departments engaged in allied programs, the College administration, CAP, Curriculum Committee, counterpart Haverford departments (if the review itself is not Bi-College), and students.

External Reviews should take less than three (3) months to complete. A comprehensive written report with suggestions for the future will be expected. This report will be available to the department, CAP, Curriculum Committee, Provost and President. The department is to write a response to the review, which will be shared with CAP, Curriculum Committee, and the EPC.

After writing their response, the department will meet with the Provost, Dean of the Undergraduate College, and representatives from CAP and Curriculum Committee to discuss the review and the department's response.  Together, they will set goals or plans based on the review and discuss the resources necessary to meet these goals.  After five years, this group will meet again to assess how the plan is being implemented.

 

Last Updated August 2009

 

Visiting Review Committees

Bryn Mawr College has in place a program to review the activities of academic departments by committees of external experts.