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Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment:Department Reviews


A department review is intended to (1) encourage departments to study themselves and reflect upon successes within the department and among faculty and students, (2) determine the areas that need improvement, and (3) develop a plan to strengthen those areas. Department review should be used as a tool to help in determining a department's ability to respond to future challenges and opportunities, evaluate strengths and weaknesses, determine priorities, and aid in shaping plans for the future of the department.

To accomplish these goals, the review should address three critical questions:

  1. What is the current state of the department?
  2. Where does the department hope to be in five years?
  3. How will the department achieve its goals?

Because only a few departments are examined each year, department reviews are usually not an effective vehicle for rapid decisions about institutional priorities. However, information developed during department reviews can support other planning and evaluation activities and guide strategic resource allocation. Occasionally, a department review may provide sufficient evidence to warrant a decision to refocus, reorganize, curtail or eliminate some academic activities or even entire programs. Most often, however, the process will lead to action plans for improving a department's various academic activities, either singly or in combination.

Every department and stand-alone academic program at Old Dominion University will be formally reviewed on a regular cycle. The review begins with a self-study conducted by the department. The self-study must be no longer than 20 pages (excluding appendices).

The criteria included in the template should be sufficient to guide the typical department review.

Two observations about criteria should be kept in mind:

  • First, these general criteria should be applied flexibly, so that each department receives a thorough examination adapted to its nature and circumstances.
  • Second, while standardized data elements can begin to measure how well departments meet the criteria for department review, time and experience may suggest additional or better measurements. Each department should be responsible for proposing ways to measure its activities concerning these criteria.

For brevity, the department review template lists only criteria (standards) and principal metrics.

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Department Review Timeline

Every department at Old Dominion University will be formally reviewed on a regular cycle. A Master Calendar developed in consultation with the Deans will be updated annually, and as circumstances warrant. The Provost, the Dean and Chair will coordinate to develop and implement review timelines that complement the national accreditation review.

View timeline by Academic College.

Fall 2020

  • Art
  • Educational Foundations and Leadership
  • Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering
  • Medical Diagnostic and Translational Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • International Business

Fall 2021

  • Political Science and Geography
  • Finance
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Community and Environmental Health
  • Psychology
  • History (includes Asian Studies)

Fall 2022

  • English
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Marketing
  • Management
  • MBA

Fall 2023

  • Communication and Theater Arts
  • STEM Education and Professional Studies
  • Humanities
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • School of Public Service
  • International Studies
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Cybersecurity

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