Reviews of Administrative Units

Approved by Senate on 14 September 1977. Reviewed and amended by Senate on 18 May 1983.

  • Reviews of departments, institutes, centres, schools, faculties or other administrative units within the University should be initiated when a reasonable request for a review is made by the academic staff involved, the Head or other responsible administrator, the responsible Dean, the President, or the Senate. While this implies no rigid periodicity for reviews, some Faculties may find it desirable to review units within them according to some timetable, and a regular review of special administrative units like institutes and centres may be particularly worthwhile.
  • Committees struck to review departments and other units within a Faculty should be appointed by, and be responsible to the Dean, who should also receive their reports. Correspondingly, reviews of Faculties should be conducted by committees appointed by and responsible to the President, who will receive their reports. The administrative officer responsible for the review committee should be responsible also for arranging the necessary funding.
  • Faculties are authorized and encouraged to design and approve statements of policies and procedures for the conduct of reviews of departments and other administrative units or programs within their responsibility. The arrangements should be designed to allay apprehensions about reviews, to expedite them, and to ensure maximum benefit from them. These faculty statements should contain, inter alia:
    • A description of the structure of review committees. Committees should include one or more experts from outside this University. However, some Faculties may choose to limit the role of external assessors (for example, by having them act only as advisors to the review committees or by restricting their concern with certain matters such as administration or finance.)
    • Procedures for selecting members of review committees. Among other things, the extent to which members of the academic unit being reviewed will participate in the selection of reviewers should be stipulated.
    • Provisions to ensure that review committees are provided with explicit terms of reference, particularly in respect of the extent to which their investigations are to extend beyond purely academic matters to issues of administration and finance. The academic strength and balance of the unit under review should be the main focus of the investigation, and this should include the full spectrum of its academic activities.
    • Clear and detailed arrangements to govern the submission of documentation and communications between the committee and the members of the academic unit being reviewed.
    • Provisions for the review committee’s report to be made available to the members of the unit reviewed, subject to deletions by the Dean on the advice of legal counsel with respect to any material that may be defamatory or of other legal consequence, or that might be considered an invasion of privacy.
  • Faculties’ statements of policies and procedures for reviews should be submitted to the Senate for approval.
  • The Senate should be advised of reviews being undertaken, and a copy of each review committee’s report as submitted to the members of the unit being reviewed deposited with the Secretary of Senate and made available for examination by senators.
  • That, within two years of the completion of the review, a report on the implementation of the recommendations of the review be forwarded to the Dean or the President as appropriate and a copy lodged with the Secretary of Senate.

This information is for quick reference. For the full text of the Minutes of Senate, which include the motions and discussion, please see the Minutes Archive.