R411 Program Reviews


In accordance with the Utah State Board of Regents Policy R411, all academic programs will be reviewed periodically to improve educational quality. Program review recommendations will focus on the quality and effectiveness of each major program of study, including undergraduate and graduate programs.


With oversight and direction from deans, department heads and faculty have primary responsibility for reviewing existing programs. The Office of the Provost & Chief Academic Officer coordinates the process, provides funding for external review visits and honorariums, and supports departments as needed. The Board of Trustees and Board of Regents oversee the process.


Programs offered at doctoral and masters granting universities are reviewed every seven years. Programs holding specialized accreditation may choose to submit letter(s) and report(s) from the accrediting organization in lieu of conducting and submitting a program review.

Review Phases

  1. Department self-study of academic programs
  2. Review committee evaluation of self-study, site visit and report
  3. Department response to review committee report
  4. Department completion of R411 report and submission to the Office of the Provost & Chief Academic Officer
  5. Provost & Chief Academic Officer's submission of R411 report to Board of Trustees for comment and to Commissioner of Higher Education Academic Affairs for evaluation and preparation for Utah Board of Regents agenda.

Process Overview



The department head and dean will meet to define expected review outcomes and identify areas needing particular attention during the review committee’s site visit.


Program Self-Study

Faculty and students will participate in the program self-study, which will consist of an in-depth self-appraisal of program activities including assessment, strategic planning, goal formulation and the decision-making process. In cases where deficiencies exist, the department will initiate a course of action to remedy deficiencies. If major departures from standard indicators of productivity exist, the department will justify these departures.

A required data table provided by the Office of Analysis, Assessment and Accreditation and the Office of Budget and Planning will be provided.

The self-study should include at least the following:

Department Profile

  • Mission and goals
  • Program descriptions
  • Degrees offered; undergraduate and graduate
  • Alignment of programs and degrees with department mission
  • Support function or interaction with programs
  • Outreach efforts


  • Headcount and full-time equivalent faculty
  • Faculty profiles (include faculty CVs in an appendix)
  • Faculty teaching loads
  • Faculty research and scholarly productivity
  • Adjunct faculty and graduate assistants FTE
  • Faculty-student ratios
  • Faculty credentials, rank, and diversity information
  • Student credit hours produced per full-time equivalent faculty


  • Admission standards
  • Student credit hours generated
  • Number of majors in program
  • Enrollment and attrition trends
  • Transfer data
  • Graduation and retention rates
  • Student placement rates and salary data if available

Program Costs

  • Instructional costs
  • Support costs

Program Support

  • Facilities and equipment
  • Professional development

Program Assessment

  • Examples of goals, measurements, and impact
  • Evidence of ongoing and systemic documentation of student learning in courses, programs and degrees
  • Evidence the assessment data are collected, analyzed and used for improvements
  • Strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations

The Review Committee

The Review Committee will consist of at least two out of state external reviewers with expertise in the discipline and one internal reviewer not affiliated with the program. The department head will forward recommendations of review committee members to the Office of the Provost & Chief Academic Officer for approval. Review committee members will not have close personal or working ties to department faculty members.

Review Committee Responsibilities:

  1. Read and evaluate the department self-study
  2. Spend at least two days on campus meeting with department faculty, students, staff, administration, the dean, and others deemed necessary to make a thorough assessment of the department
  3. Make comparative judgments between USU and peer institutions relating to the department's curriculum, faculty, students, administration, and program resources
  4. Submit a report to the department within six weeks of the visit to campus

Review Committee members will analyze the department self-study and additional data gathered and create a report with recommendations related to program improvement, continuation and discontinuation. The Review Committee will submit their report to the department and dean for comment and will address comments in a final report. The Review Committee will submit a final report to the Provost, with copies to the department and college dean.


R411 Preparation and Submission

Following completion of the Review Committee’s final report, the department head will prepare an R411 report based on the review process and submit it to the Office of the Provost & Chief Academic Officer. The Office of the Provost & Chief Academic Officer will submit the R411 report to the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents.

Recommended Timeline

Early Fall Notify department of review requirement;
Department head meet with academic dean for program review planning
December 1 Submit proposed review member bios to the Provost’s Office for approval.  Once approved, submit W-9 for external reviewers and an ESC for internal reviewers (if appropriate)
February 15 Self-study completed and submitted to Review Committee
March 15 - 30 Department visit by Review Committee
May 1 Report from Review Committee sent to department and academic dean
June 1 Comments on the Review Committee Report from department and academic dean sent to the Review Committee
June 15 Final Review Committee Report
June 30 Department head submits the R411, self study, and Review Committee Report to the Office of the Provost & Chief Academic Officer

For more information on program reviews, please contact:

Renee Galliher
Associate Vice Provost
Phone: (435) 797-3391
Email: renee.galliher@usu.edu