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Chapter 20: Organization

20.035 Program Assessment and Audit

Executive Guideline No. 25, 7-23-87; Revised 5-16-90; Revised 12-19-02; Revised 1-21-04; Revised 12-6-11.

  1. Program Assessment -- Each department, center, and institute will undergo a cyclic process of assessment for the purpose of improving the quality of the educational opportunities provided by the academic unit. The assessment will include any degree programs offered by the department. The department faculty should assess the processes developed through its planning efforts to improve student learning, to enhance the impact of its research and scholarship on the discipline, and to link its service activities with the needs of the campus, discipline, and the community. The assessment should also determine if the planning at the academic unit is aligned with the campus strategic plan.
    1. The campus determines the procedures and format of the program assessment.
    2. The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will provide cooperation and coordination with the program review process of any applicable state agency or department. The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will post short summary reports on the UM website available to any applicable state agency or department according to a mutually agreeable five-year cycle for each program. The summary report could contain the following summary information:
      1. Name of the program and name of the department responsible for administering the program;
      2. Statement concerning program mission;
      3. Distinguishing characteristics of the program;
      4. Trends in student enrollments and degree completions;
      5. Scholarship activity and public service.
  2. Program Audit -- The management of the degree program inventory will at times require the elimination or consolidation of degree programs and associated academic units in order to optimally direct limited faculty and other resources to meet the dynamic educational needs of students in Missouri. The purpose of a program audit is to determine if a selected degree program or academic unit should be modified, consolidated with another degree program and/or academic unit, suspended, or discontinued. The Chancellor or her or his designee will determine which programs or academic units should undergo a program audit.
    1. Procedures to Identify Candidates for a Program Audit
      1. The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will generate a bi-annual report on academic costs and revenues, enrollment trends, degree completion rates, percentage of service courses, and relationship between institutional and external support for research and scholarship. Based on the academic profiles derived from the annual report, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will generate a list of academic programs or departments that are potential candidates for a program audit.
      2. The list will be submitted to the Chancellor and reviewed in relation to other quality and centrality indicators. The Chancellor may elect to add other degree programs to be reviewed based on other criteria, including the outcome of a program assessment.
      3. The Chancellor will notify the Vice President for Academic Affairs which degree programs and associated academic units were selected to participate in a program audit.
    2. Procedures to Conduct a Program Audit
      1. The Chancellor of each campus will determine the specific membership for the program audit committee which will include faculty members and academic administrators.
      2. The charge of the Program Audit committee will be to review the academic profile of the programs and academic units selected for an audit, compile and review other pertinent and related information and make recommendations to the Chancellor and the chief academic officer concerning the program and/or academic unit under review.
      3. The Program Audit committee should examine, but is not limited to, the following criteria during an audit of an academic unit:  
        (1) Quality of faculty and students;
        (2) Outcomes of instruction, research, and outreach activities;
        (3) Student demand and state need for the affected programs;
        (4) Centrality to the mission of the campus and the University of Missouri;
        (5) Comparative advantages or uniqueness of the program;
        (6) The adequacy of resources to support the program and other financial considerations.
      4. The Program Audit committee may recommend to the Chancellor that the program or academic unit be placed on probationary status for a fixed time period with an outcome-based improvement plan, modified, consolidated with another program, placed on inactive status, or discontinued. Cooperative programs with other campuses should be explored as part of the recommendation to the Chancellor.
      5. A program or academic unit placed on inactive status will not admit any new students, but will continue to provide instruction to students who are already enrolled in the program. The program will automatically be discontinued if it is suspended for more than five years.
      6. Based on the review and recommendations of the Program Audit committee, the Chancellor makes the final decision on the actions taken concerning the affected degree program and/or academic unit. The Chancellor will report the actions to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

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