Mason’s APR process relies on peer reviewers—tenured Mason faculty—to read and evaluate APR reports. Each APR report is read and evaluated by a review team consisting of at least two faculty reviewers. Several (3-6) reviewers are assigned to reports from large units that run multiple degree programs. Review teams evaluate their assigned APR report and write a response document that addresses the unit’s program goals, action plans, learning outcomes assessments, and alignment with the university’s mission and strategic plan. The response document also identifies issues that may require further attention. In addition to writing the response document, each review team meets with the Provost and OIRE staff to discuss their assigned APR report and the findings of their review.
APR reviewers often report that they benefit from learning about other degree programs on campus and meeting faculty from diverse academic units. In a 2013 survey of APR reviewers, 90% of respondents rated their experience as more interesting or a lot more interesting than other university-wide service. Similarly, 60% said that being an APR reviewer was more fulfilling or a lot more fulfilling than other university-wide service.
APR reviewers are asked to participate for three consecutive years. APR review activities only take place during the Spring semester, thus, reviewers should be available for three consecutive Spring semesters. The number of hours it takes to complete a review can vary, but reviewers should anticipate spending between 10-30 hours of service each Spring.
Tenured faculty from all units and all Mason campuses in Virginia are eligible to serve as reviewers. APR reviewers are usually nominated by their Dean, however, faculty may also contact OIRE to express an interest in serving as a reviewer. In order to prevent conflict of interest, APR reviewers are not allowed to review their own unit’s APR report. Similarly, faculty should not review reports from units in which they have affiliate status.
If you have questions about Academic Program Review or would like to be an APR reviewer, please contact the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-993-8834.