Academic Review Procedures
An academic review may focus on a faculty, school, department, centre or institute. Reviews may also be undertaken of a discipline or cross-disciplinary area.
The scope of a review may vary. A review may focus on a single issue, such as international operations, industry engagement or strategic direction, or may be a comprehensive review of all aspects of an area's operations, including strategic direction, planning and quality assurance, resource management, academic programs, learning and teaching, research and research training, and external engagement activities. Existing evidence available from University processes or other internal or external reviews should be used to inform the academic review process.
The review process will:
Resourcing of the review process is the responsibility of the area to be reviewed.
An academic review usually involves an internal review and an external review. The Provost and Dean (or for off-shore campuses, the Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) will determine whether an academic review should include both stages. Where a cross-disciplinary area is to be reviewed, the Provost will consult with the Deans of the relevant faculties and resourcing the review will be shared between those faculties.
The Academic Standards Committee may approve alternative review procedures appropriate to the scope and terms of reference of a proposed review.
Coordination and Advice
Reviews will be supported by the Office of Academic Performance. The Office of Academic Performance will advise on the review process and provide supporting documents and data, including example terms of reference, data requirements, and report templates.
The Office of Academic Performance will maintain the University's central academic review register.
Stage 1: Inititating a Review
Deans (or Pro Vice-Chancellors of offshore campuses) and/or the Provost or Vice-Chancellor may initiate a review of an academic area or discipline at any time and may determine whether that review will consist of both an internal review and external review.
As part of the annual faculty strategic planning process, each Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) will nominate potential academic areas for review during the following calendar year, and specify appropriate focus/terms of reference for each review. Examples of criteria that may prompt the nomination include the following:
The Dean in discussion with the Provost (or the Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus and the Vice-Chancellor) will determine which of those nominated reviews are to be undertaken in the next calendar year. Consideration will also be given to reviewing academic areas which have not been reviewed within the last five years.
Centres and institutes that exist within a faculty may be reviewed separately or as part of the organisational units to which they belong (department, school or faculty). Newly established centres and institutes must undergo an initial review within the first two years of establishment. This may comprise an internal review only.
The Vice-Provost (Research) will determine the review schedule for centres and institutes that exist outside of the faculties.
Each Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an off shore campus) will post a notice of scheduled reviews on the faculty/campus website. The Office of Academic Performance will post notices on the University's central academic review register.
Stage 2: Internal Review
The Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) will appoint the members of the Internal Review Team having consulted with the head(s) of the area(s) under review.
The relevant head(s) of the area(s) under review will oversee the internal review.
The Internal Review Team should, where possible, use a standard data set provided by the Office of Academic Performance.
Internal and external stakeholders must be notified that the internal review is taking place and invited to make submissions to the review.
The Internal Review Team must report against the terms of reference and not beyond. The report will be concise and, where relevant use evidence from other reviews or processes.
The Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) will forward the internal review report to the Provost (or Vice-Chancellor) who will confirm whether an external review is required. If an external review is not required, the Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) will provide to the Provost (or Vice-Chancellor) an action plan and make periodic progress reports against the plan. If an external review is required, the internal review report or equivalent documentation forms the basis of the external review.
The Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) will forward to the Office of Academic Performance the internal review report and action plan (if applicable) for inclusion in the University's central academic review register.
Stage 3: External Review
Appointment of External Review Panel
Selection of External Review Panel members is based on their experience and expertise with regard to the terms of reference. An external review panel will normally include:
The Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) will forward to the Office of Academic Performance the names and biographies of recommended members of the External Review Panel. The Provost (or Vice-Chancellor) will consider the recommendations and approve the final membership of the Panel. The Provost will determine the chair of the Panel on the recommendation of the Dean (or the Vice-Chancellor on recommendation of the Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus). Members of the External Review Panel will be asked to complete a ‘Disclosure of Conflict of Interest Form' prior to the commencement of the review.
The Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) will recommend to the Provost (or Vice-Chancellor) an appropriate Executive Officer to the Panel. For reviews of centres or institutes outside a faculty, the area under review will recommend to the Vice-Provost (Research) or Provost an appropriate Executive Officer.
External Review Process
The Executive Officer will provide the External Review Panel with the following:
The Executive Officer will also invite input from relevant internal and external stakeholders. Confidential submissions may be forwarded to the Panel through the Office of Academic Performance.
The Executive Officer will schedule the External Review Panel visit in consultation with the Panel members, the Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) and the head(s) of area(s) under review. The visit will usually take one to two days. During the visit, the Panel will normally meet with stakeholders, and consider submissions and requests for interviews. At the end of the visit the Panel will present its preliminary findings to the Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus).
External Review Report
The Chair will work in conjunction with the Executive Officer to draft the review report, which will be submitted to the Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus), and head(s) of area(s) who will inform the Chair of any errors of fact.
The Chair and Executive Officer will submit the final External Review Report to the Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus).
Stage 4: Action Plan
On receiving the final external review report, the Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) and head(s) of the area(s) under review will:
The Dean will send the External Review Report and action plan to the Office of Academic Performance who will submit them to the appropriate Academic Board standing committee and the relevant member of senior management.
At the end of each calendar year, the Office of Academic Performance will provide Academic Board with a summary of all completed reviews and the major outcomes of each. The Academic Standards Committee or the Monash University Research Committee may choose to table certain review reports at Academic Board through the year.
Stage 5: Progress Report
Twelve months after the review, the Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) will provide the Office of Academic Performance with a progress report on implementation of the review recommendations for on-forwarding to the relevant member of senior management and appropriate Academic Board standing committee(s). The Office of Academic Performance will also post the report on the University's central academic review register.
The Dean (or Pro Vice-Chancellor of an offshore campus) will report periodically to the relevant Academic Board standing committee on the implementation of the action plan until it has been completed.
Academic Review of a Discipline
A review of a discipline will normally take the form of an external review with the following variations:
Deans and/or the Provost may initiate an academic review of a discipline at any time. The review panel will normally comprise:
The panel members will appointed by the Provost in consultation with the relevant dean(s). The Provost will appoint one of the panel members as the Chair.
The Provost will appoint an appropriate Executive Officer to the Panel.
The relevant faculty/faculties will be invited to provide input to the review and documentation equivalent to an internal self-review report. The review panel will report to the Provost and relevant faculties will subsequently be asked to provide action plans and progress reports on the implementation of the review panel's recommendations.
As set out in Stage 4, discipline review reports will be submitted to Academic Standards Committee and Academic Board.
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