OUS and Institutional Academic Program Review

Careful initiation and continued review of academic programs are key to an institution's viability and reputation. Not only does such an approach provide a level of quality assurance to the public, it also contributes to the broader portfolio of the state's system of public universities. 

The review process employed by the Oregon University System and its institutions serves to track the success of each program and identify its unique strengths.  It provides a systematic way to improve programs by examining:

  • Adequacy of resources needed to sustain a quality offering;
  • Continued ability to address access and market demand;
  • Currency of the curriculum within the evolution of the discipline or field; and
  • Success of the program in terms of student learning.

Usually conducted through a form of self-study or external accreditation, the process for the ongoing review of existing programs engages faculty, administrators, graduates, and community partners in a thoughtful exploration that parallels many of the same elements reviewed during the program's initial approval. Results help reaffirm an institution's commitment to a program area, confirm the program's linkage with the institution's mission and strategic plan, and provide useful data for the institution's planning cycle.

In Oregon, this process includes rigorous review and approval processes for all new programs and certificates, a five-year review of new programs approved by the State Board of Higher Education, and a systematic review of all existing programs carried out at the institution level. The latter process may vary across campuses but includes many similar components. Processes used to prepare for re-accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities or specialized professional program accreditations provide many of the essential components valued for program review and, during the appropriate cycle of an accreditation site visit, may substitute for a separate program review report. 

Links to individual campus program review activities, policies and reports can be accessed through this website, along with a schedule of programs brought forward for review by the Provosts' Council.

The roles and responsibilities of OUS institutions, the Provosts' Council, and the Board as well as flow charts showing the processes for initiation and review of new undergraduate and graduate programs are included here to guide institution administrators, department or program chairs, and faculty through the program development and review processes of the Provosts' Council and Board.  Narrative guidelines and required forms may also be accessed at this site.

Policies and Processes

Forms and Reference Documents

Helpful links