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Organisational Unit Reviews

At its Meeting 6/18 - 5 September 2018, Academic Board endorsed major revisions to the Reviews processes based on the review of purposes, principles and processes that support the review of Academic Programs and Academic Units.

Organisational Unit reviews are focused on evaluating the quality and effectiveness of academic strategy, operations and outcomes including research, learning and teaching, entrepreneurship and innovation and external engagement and impact and, as with Program Reviews, form an integral part of the University's quality assurance processes.

There are two types of centrally-managed organisation Unit reviews - those relating to Academic Units (usually schools) and those relating to administrative and para-academic units (i.e. those units that do not qualify as academic units such as the International Office and Student Support Services).

Academic and other Academic Unit Reviews Process

Reviews of Academic Units are coordinated by staff from Learning and Quality Support, who work with Faculty and School staff throughout the process, providing assistance and advice as required. These are overseen by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) (PVC(SL)).

Scheduling of Academic and other Academic Unit Reviews

The choice of Academic Units for review in any particular year will be negotiated between Executive Deans and the PVC(SL), taking into account the performance of the Unit, the prevailing strategic imperatives of the University and the intention that all Units be reviewed at least once over the duration of the cycle. For Academic Units with accreditation requirements or that have undergone or will undergo any other form of external review, these will be taken into account, with the aim of minimising duplication of effort.

Each Academic Unit is to be reviewed at least once every 7 years. An initial 7 year schedule of reviews will be developed in consultation with the Executive Dean. The initial plan will thereafter be updated each year for the following 7 years. Where appropriate a School, Faculty or Executive Management may request a review outside the cycle.

Terms of Reference

Reviews of Academic Units focus on the quality and effectiveness of its academic strategy, operations and outcomes; its academic standing and how its operations might be enhanced, as well as recognising best practice and developments since the last review, including the development of a Self Evaluation Report.

While the value and usefulness of standard terms of reference for reviews of academic units or reviews of other academic units are recognised, the Executive Dean has the flexibility to provide modified or alternative terms of reference subject to approval by the PVC(SL). External points of reference provide valuable perspective for further reflection and implementation of improvements; therefore an element to be considered when undertaking academic unit reviews is benchmarking against comparable units in other Go8 universities.

Review Panel

The Academic Unit reviews are conducted by a Review Panel, which is established with the aim of responding to the Self Evaluation Report. The composition of the Review Panel will be agreed between the relevant Executive Dean and the PVC(SL). While Review Panels for unit reviews are usually composed of 5 members, including an internal convenor, 2 students and 2 external panel members, the PVC(SL) may approve a variation to this.

Review Preparation

The Academic Unit will prepare a Self Evaluation Report for the Review prior to the Review Panel meeting. Guidelines are available on the development of the Self Evaluation Report. Note that Units are permitted to provide additional information considered relevant to the review.

Invitations to provide submissions to the Review Panel will be made to internal and external stakeholders. The Faculty, in consultation with Learning and Quality Support, will develop a list of relevant stakeholders, which will include both industry/professional representatives and students. Learning and Quality Support will contact the stakeholders to invite written submissions, and may also invite some of the stakeholders to an interview with the Review Panel.

Reporting

The new process requires that a verbal report be made to participants and stakeholders at the conclusion of the visit by the Panel.

Learning and Quality Support, in consultation with the Convenor, will commence drafting of the report during the final session of the Review Panel's visit, with a particular focus on developing the recommendations. A draft set of recommendations will be finalised with the Convenor in the week following the Panel's visit. A first draft of the complete Report will be provided to the Convenor of the Review Panel no later than the end of the second week after the Review Panel visit. Draft reports should be considered confidential. The main body of a Review Report will be not more than ten pages in length.

The final Review Report is submitted to the PVC(SL).

Approval

On receipt of the Unit Report, the PVC(SL) will seek the relevant Executive Dean's advice on acceptance, rejection or modification of the recommendations. Following this consultation, the PVC(SL) will present the Report to Academic Board. Recommendations requiring discussion of resource matters (eg. staff, financial and physical) will be considered by Vice-Chancellor's Executive (VCE) in the first instance.

Academic Board or the Vice-Chancellor's Executive (VCE), where appropriate, is responsible for endorsing the final recommendations (to the extent that they fall within its Terms of Reference), and recommending their approval to the Vice-Chancellor and President. Approved recommendations are available from the Review Reports, Recommendations & Implementation Plans page (Staff only).

Implementation

The Faculty, in consultation with staff from Learning and Quality Support, will develop an Implementation Plan addressing the approved recommendations of the Review Report. A finalised Implementation Plan is to be provided to the PVC(SL) within 6 weeks of the acceptance of the Review Report.

The Faculty is required to submit updates on the progress of the actions described in the Implementation Plan to Learning and Quality Support. These updates are required 4 and then a further 8 months after recommendations in the Review Report have been accepted by the Vice-Chancellor and President.

The PVC(SL) has the responsibility for ensuring that an Implementation Plan is developed, and for ensuring the monitoring of progress of the actions described in the Plan. Implementation Plans and progress reports are available from the Review Reports, Recommendations & Implementation Plans page (Staff only).

Administrative or Para-academic Units

Reviews of these Units are overseen and managed by the relevant Division Head who has the responsibility for determining the frequency, process and panel structure for such reviews within their Division.

Each administrative or para-academic Unit is to be reviewed at least once every 7 years. An initial 7 year cycle will be developed by the relevant Division Head and then updated each year for the following 7 years.

Reviews of Administrative Units consider the quality of services and core activities, the preparedness of the area under review to deal with new challenges or priorities and the ways in which the activities support the academic activities and the aims of the University's Strategic Plan. Given the difficulties of such an undertaking, administrative reviews might focus on a small and relatively homogenous area.

Reporting

Learning and Quality Support, in consultation with the Convenor, will commence drafting of the report during the final session of the Review Panel's visit, with a particular focus on developing the recommendations. A draft set of recommendations will be finalised with the Convenor in the week following the Panel's visit. A first draft of the complete Report will be provided to the Convenor of the Review Panel no later than the end of the second week after the Review Panel visit. Draft reports should be considered confidential. The main body of a Review Report will be not more than ten pages in length.

The final Review Report is submitted to the PVC(SL).

Approval

On receipt of the Unit Report, the PVC(SL) will seek the relevant Senior Manager's advice on acceptance, rejection or modification of the recommendations. Following this consultation, the PVC(SL) will present the Report to the Vice-Chancellor's Executive.

The Vice-Chancellor's Executive (VCE) is responsible for endorsing the final recommendations (to the extent that they fall within its Terms of Reference), and recommending their approval to the Vice-Chancellor and President. Approved recommendations are available from the Review Reports, Recommendations & Implementation Plans page (Staff only).

Implementation

The Divisional Head, in consultation with staff from Learning and Quality Support, will develop an Implementation Plan addressing the approved recommendations of the Review Report. A finalised Implementation Plan is to be provided to the PVC(SL) within 3 months of the VCE's consideration of the Review Report.

The Divisional Head is required to submit updates on the progress of the actions described in the Implementation Plan to Learning and Quality Support. These updates are required 4 and then a further 8 months after the acceptance of the recommendations in the Review Report.

The PVC(SL) has the responsibility for ensuring that an Implementation Plan is developed, and for ensuring the monitoring of progress of the actions described in the Plan. Implementation Plans and progress reports are available from the Review Reports, Recommendations & Implementation Plans page (Staff only).

 

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