You will want to work with the Dean of Faculty’s office to coordinate the timing of the visit by the external review team. At least six months in advance, your unit will submit a list of names of suggested experts who can represent a range of diverse viewpoints within the field, including relevant subdisciplinary specialities, types of institutions, and demographics. Typically the unit should submit at least 8-10 names with a brief description of each individual’s expertise, why they’ve been nominated, and contact information. It is helpful to prioritize the names into ideal “teams”, indicating alternates and recognizing that it is typically easiest to recruit reviewers from nearby colleges or universities.
After the Dean of Faculty’s office has assembled the review team (typically comprised of 3-4 members) the members of the visiting group will receive (~ 1 month prior to the visit) the self-study document along with instructions from the Dean of Faculty concerning the expected timing of their post-visit report submission. The Dean of Faculty’s office will arrange and pay for travel, accommodation, and honoraria for external reviewers.
During the visit itself, the Department/Program serves as the host to the visiting team and should arrange the schedule and escort the group to the various meetings. Please provide members of the review team with a clear and comprehensive itinerary (a clear schedule, campus map, contact numbers for each other and individuals who will be escorting them from place to place, driving directions and parking information if needed, wifi password information). Remember to schedule in both break time for the committee as well and time for the team to consult about their impressions. Remember also to distribute the itinerary to all members of the department or program to ensure full participation.
The elements of the site visit will likely include over the course of 1-2 days:
- a welcoming event for the review team to get to know members of the department or program (this is typically an informal dinner gathering on the first evening)
- time for the review committee to touch base with one another before the main part of the visit begins (perhaps after the first welcoming event)
- a meeting with the Dean of the Faculty at the beginning of the visit (typically a breakfast meeting)
- meetings (individual) with all faculty and staff in the unit
- meetings with appropriate members of related units (individual, if possible)
- meeting(s) with students (typically over lunch)
- a tour of relevant equipment and facilities
- a meeting with the entire department or programtogether towards the end of the visit
- time for the review committee to touch base with one another on their own before their final meeting with the CAP
- a meeting with the CAP at the end of the visit