Academic Unit Reviews

The fundamental purpose of academic unit reviews is to provide information, both qualitative and quantitative, and recommendations that can serve as a basis for innovation and improvement of academic programming. Reviews should identify strengths and challenges, stimulating program development and revision. The reviews are expected to lead to more focused planning to address teaching and student supervision, research opportunities, and unit infrastructure and administration.

Academic unit reviews may be at the departmental level, at the Faculty level for non-departmentalized faculties, or across departments and Faculties for programs that are interdisciplinary in character.  As key academic units, the Library and the Centre for Continuing Education will also undergo academic unit reviews. 

These reviews will focus on the following areas:

  • Priorities and aspirations of each unit and the extent to which they are being realized
  • Challenges and opportunities faced by the unit
  • Structure and quality of undergraduate and graduate programs, including instruction
  • Contribution of each program to related disciplines and fields of study
  • Scope and significance of research being pursued
  • The degree to which academic programs meet students’ learning needs and goals
  • Characteristics of staffing complements
  • The extent to which the unit is meeting its internal and external service responsibilities
  • The role the unit plays in meeting the University’s vision, mission, goals and priorities; and
  • Financial resources of the unit

In 2015, a ten-year schedule of Academic Unit Reviews was developed by the Council Committee on Academic Mission (CCAM). The schedule is available for viewing here.


Regular academic unit reviews are required of all academic units to ensure that effectiveness and efficiency are maintained in the context of the University's strategic plan.

Review Coordination

The coordination of all unit reviews is the responsibility of the Provost's Office working in partnership with the Council Committee on Academic Mission (CCAM), the Dean of the Faculty, and the unit under review. The recommendations of CCAM, based on the review process, are advisory.  Specifically, the Provost's Office and CCAM will:

  • In consultation with Deans’ Council, develop a schedule for reviews
  • Receive, review and comment on the self-study report
  • Appoint the review team
  • Develop terms of reference for the review team
  • Receive and transmit the report of the review team
  • Meet with the Dean and unit head to discuss the report and the unit’s response
  • Receive the unit’s implementation plan
  • Report regularly to Executive of Council on the status of reviews; and
  • Identify issues of university-wide concern and make recommendations concerning them to appropriate bodies or individuals