Cleveland State University

Office of Academic Planning

Roles and Responsibilities of the External Consultant

The external consultantís role is to serve as a content expert in the discipline being reviewed. The other committee members look to the external consultant for information about current trends in the discipline and opportunities for external funding. They also count on the external consultant to provide the following key information:

  • how the program under review compares to programs in other universities that have a similar mission, demographic profile, and funding structure
  • a critique of how the program compares to others that have reached a higher level of excellence, i.e. aspirational peers

Before the Visit

A representative from the Office of Academic Planning will forward an External Consultant Agreement which will need to be signed and returned to Cleveland State University. Once the signed agreement is received, the Office of Academic Planning will forward a copy of the self-study document and any other relevant materials to the external consultant for review. The consultant is expected to:

  • Carefully and critically review the self-study document and related materials
  • Prepare questions for the site visit based on these documents
  • Request any additional information that is needed related to the program or the University
  • Provide suggestions to the Program Review Committee members regarding the individuals and groups who should meet with the external consultant

During the Site Visit

The external consultant will:

  • Meet with the Provost, College Dean, Associate Dean, program faculty members, students, advisory groups, and other individuals or groups who can provide relevant insight for the review (these meetings will be scheduled in advance by the Program Review Committee)
  • Tour facilities and visit external sites where departmental programs are delivered
  • Collect additional evaluative information that will assist the external consultant in critically reviewing the program
  • Provide feedback to the Program Review Committee in a debrief meeting at the end of the first day and at the end of the site visit

After the Site Visit

Within two weeks of completion of the site visit, the external consultant will:

  • provide a written report to both the Program Review Committee and the program Director or Chair (with a copy to the Office of Academic Planning)
  • Submit the expense report form and original receipts for reimbursement to the Administrative Coordinator in the Office of Academic Planning

The external consultantís report will be included with the finalized Program Review Committee report and will be forwarded to the Vice Provost of Academic Planning, the College Dean and Associate Dean, the Program Chair or Director, the University Curriculum Committee, and to the Graduate Council for programs that have a graduate component. Reports are due by May 1.

Return to Program Review website.
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Mailing Address
Office of Academic Planning
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, AC220
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Parker Hannifin Admin. Center 220
2300 Euclid Avenue

Phone: 216.687.5324
FAX: 216.687.5372

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