R411, Cyclical Institutional Program Reviews

R411, Cyclical Institutional Program Reviews

R411-1. Purpose: To provide policy and procedures for the review of existing programs in the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE). The primary purpose for conducting institutional program reviews is to improve the quality of education.


2.1. Utah Code §53B-16-102, Changes in Curriculum

2.2. Policy and Procedures R220, Delegation of Responsibilities to the President and Board of Trustees

2.3. Policy and Procedures R401, Approval of New Programs, Program Changes, Discontinued Programs, and Program Reports

 R411-3. Responsibility: The chief responsibility for reviewing existing programs is assigned to institutional faculty and administrators, and to institutional Boards of Trustees (Trustees) with accompanying Board of Higher Education (Board) oversight. Program review is accomplished through the combined efforts of presidents, vice presidents, provosts, deans, department chairs, and faculty so that meaningful change can occur.

R411-4. Review Procedure: Program reviews will be evaluated first by the institutional Board of Trustees, and then forwarded to the Commissioner of Higher Education and Commissioner’s Academic Affairs staff for review and recommendation to the Board as a General Consent Calendar item.

4.1. Review Committees: Program reviews will be conducted in accordance with procedures developed by each institution consistent with its respective faculty governance system. Departments whose programs are under review shall prepare detailed written materials for review committees based on system and institutional criteria. Review committees for each program shall be established that include a minimum of (1) two external reviewers with expertise in the discipline, or (2) one external reviewer and one internal reviewer not affiliated with the program. External and internal reviewers shall be individuals holding positions as academic administrators and/or faculty. Additionally, Program Advisory Committee members and/or other external industry experts may be used.

4.2. Submissions: Institutional Chief Academic Officers (CAOs) shall provide summaries of completed program reviews to the Commissioner’s Academic Affairs staff. The summaries shall include the reviewers, a program description, five-year faculty/student data, five-year financial data, a program assessment, and the institution’s response (see Program Review Template, Section 6).

4.3. Evaluations: Program review summaries will be evaluated by the Commissioner’s staff, who may ask for further information. In addition to the completed program review template, institutional CAOs shall provide to the Commissioner’s Academic Affairs staff copies of regional and specialized accreditation reports, including focused and interim reports, and other reports upon request. The staff will prepare program reviews as items for the Board’s General Consent Calendar.

4.4. Programs with Specialized Accreditation: If a program holds specialized accreditation from an organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education (as advised by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity), an institution may choose to submit the specialized accreditation letter(s) and report(s) in lieu of conducting and submitting a program review as described herein.

R411-5. Review Schedule: To ensure a thoughtful and careful examination of each program in the USHE, the following review schedule should be followed as closely as possible.

5.1. Doctorate-granting and Master’s Universities: All programs will be reviewed at least once every seven years, except where the specialized accreditation cycle for a program may be different.

5.2. All Other Institutions: All programs will be reviewed at least once every five years, except where the specialized accreditation cycle for a program may be different.

5.3. List of Scheduled Program Reviews: An annual list of scheduled program reviews is due to the Commissioner’s Academic Affairs staff at the beginning of each September.

R411-6. Program Review Template: The template specifies the information to be supplied and provides the format to be used when submitting the review for the Board.


  • The Program Review Template should be used for those items identified as needing the Report Template in R411 and listed as possible items to check on the Cover/Signature Page below.
  • A Report Template consists of a Cover/Signature Page and a Five- or Seven-Year Program Review.
  • Prepare the Five- or Seven-Year Follow-Up Report per R411 instructions as a Word document (no PDF formats). When descriptions of the content required for each section appear in this font color, the descriptive italics are to be removed and replaced with the institutional content before the institution submits the proposal to the OCHE.
  • Institutions providing evidence of specialized accreditation in lieu of conducting a Five- or Seven-Year Program Review should submit the Cover/Signature Page with the appropriate specialized accreditation letter(s) and report(s) attached.
  • The CAO or his/her designated representatives should e-mail the completed Program Review material (including electronic signature) to academicaffairs@ushe.edu.
  • The institution is responsible for maintaining a record of the submission as the OCHE Academic and Student Affairs office is not responsible for storing electronic copies of submitted reviews.

Cover/Signature Page – Program Review Template

Institution Submitting Review: Name of Institution
Program Title: Name of Program
School or Division or Location: Name of School/Division Location
Department(s) or Area(s) Location: Name of Department/Area Location
Institutional Board of Trustees’ Approval Date: MM/DD/YEAR

Review Type (check one):

Board’s General Consent Calendar Items
R411 Cyclical Institutional Program Reviews
4.4 Programs with Specialized Accreditation
5.1 Seven-Year Program Review
5.2 Five-Year Program Review


Chief Academic Officer (or Designee) Signature:
I certify that all required institutional approvals have been obtained prior to submitting this review to the Office of the Commissioner.

Signature                                                         Date:  MM/DD/YEAR
Printed Name: Name of CAO or Designee

 Five- or Seven-Year Program Review

Higher Education Institution



 Reviewers: (Add bullets as needed. Remove italics when using template)

  • External Reviewer’s(s’) Name(s), Affiliation
  • Internal Reviewer’s Name, Affiliation

Program Description: One- to three-paragraph description of the program. (Remove italics when using template).

 Data Form: Faculty, student, and financial data for the past five years.

 The following table in R 411 is designed to gather data about the institutional unit being reviewed.  The table has been designed to present consistent data to Trustees and Board members who will receive the report.  Institutions decide on the configuration of the unit to be reviewed, and in most cases, the review is at the department level.  However, in some instances, the unit being reviewed provides services that are different from those provided by traditional academic departments. When providing data on such units, please offer an explanation that clarifies the purpose of the unit, preparation of faculty or staff who provide the service, attendance data on participants, cost of providing services, and any credential that may be offered to completers if this applies. With sufficient explanation, the data table can be adjusted for that purpose.  Use this template and make appropriate changes to present a full picture of the unit that was reviewed.

R411 Data Table
Department  or Unit–
Year Year Year Year Year
      With Doctoral Degrees (Including MFA and other terminal degrees, as specified by the institution)
            Full-time Tenured
            Full-time Non-Tenured
      With Master’s Degrees
            Full-time Tenured
            Full-time Non-Tenured
      With Bachelor’s Degrees
            Full-time Tenured
            Full-time Non-Tenured
            Full-time Tenured
            Full-time Non-Tenured
Total Headcount Faculty
            Full-time Tenured
            Full-time Non-Tenured
      FTE (A-1/S-11/Cost Study Definition)
            Full-time (Salaried)
            Teaching Assistants
            Part-time (May include TA’s)
Total Faculty FTE
Number of Graduates
            Associate Degrees
            Bachelor’s Degrees
            Master’s Degrees
            Doctoral Degrees
Number of Students—(Data Based on Fall Third Week)Semester of Data:  ____________, 20__
            Total # of Declared Majors
            Total Department FTE*
            Total Department SCH*
*Per Department Designator Prefix
            Student FTE per Total Faculty FTE
Cost      (Cost Study Definitions)
             Direct Instructional Expenditures
             Cost Per Student FTE
            Appropriated Fund
                Special Legislative Appropriation
                Grants of Contracts
                Special Fees/Differential Tuition

Program Assessment: Strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations from the reviewers. (Remove italics when using template.)

 Institution’s Response: Responses to review committee findings and recommendations. (Remove italics when using template.)

Approved July 15, 1980; amended September 13, 1983, March 20, 1984, April 11, 1986, November 17, 1989, July 27, 1990, May 29, 1998, October 27, 2005, March 24, 2009, September 16, 2011, and July 31, 2015.