academic program review

APR External Review Teams

Beginning in Fall 2021, all units starting the Academic Program Review process with have their APR self-study reviewed by an external review team of 2-4 disciplinary faculty from departmental peer or aspirant institutions.  The external review team is charged with evaluating the effectiveness of the academic unit (department, school, or individual program), as well as the unit’s contributions to George Mason University and to the discipline or field. The scope of the review is broad, encompassing the quality of the undergraduate and graduate programs; faculty and student satisfaction; and efforts to facilitate faculty progress toward tenure, promotion, and distinction in teaching, research, and scholarship.

The external review team will receive the completed self-study in January ahead of a site visit in March or April (scheduled in advance with the academic unit). The site visit will include the opportunity to meet with faculty, staff, students, administrators associated with the academic unit, and representatives from the Office of the Provost and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning.  The external review team is tasked with submitting a written report within three weeks of the conclusion of the site visit.  The report should include their findings and recommendations based on a thorough assessment of the unit’s self-study report and interviews conducted during the site visit.

Prior to extending an invitation to serve on the external review team, units must seek approval of their selected team members from the dean of their school/college.

External Review Team Resources

Conflict of Interest Policy
Mason relies on the professional integrity of those serving as external evaluators for Academic Program Review, as well as the academic units inviting potential evaluators.  Sensitivity to potential conflicts of interest must be addressed to ensure evaluators can serve objectively. As a result, the following guidelines are provided to negate potential conflicts of interest   Persons who fall into any of the following categories should NOT participate at external reviewers.

Academic units should consult with their school/college dean’s office and/or OIEP regarding potential conflicts of interest for all potential external evaluators. School/college leadership reserves the final responsibility for determining the suitability of external evaluators for Academic Program Review.

For more information about the process, please refer to the External Reviewer Charge. You can also contact your designated academic unit representative or the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning at