UTM to undergo external review


Early next November students will have a chance to provide feedback about UTM as part of a review conducted by the provincial government.

At least once every eight years, universities are required to appoint and schedule external reviewers to highlight concerns on campus, get updates on the university’s plans, and examine the quality of academic programs.

“As part of the U of T Quality Assurance Process, all U of T academic programs are reviewed periodically. The recent review of the Department of English and Drama and its programs is one such example,” said Althea Blackburn-Evans, the director of news and media relations at U of T.

The review scheduled for November will examine the academic portfolio of the entire UTM campus.

The external review will assess UTM’s “performance against other leading international institutions, and receive guidance on key strategic directions,” said Sioban Nelson, vice-provost of academic programs, in an email to staff and students last month.

One of the many academic goals UTM wants to achieve after this review is to “expand and renovate our buildings and facilities to provide more and better space for learning, research and the services to support our growing numbers of students and faculty,” said UTM VP academic and dean Amy Mullin.

The reviews are supervised by the provincial government through the same body responsible for auditing.

One reviewer from the U.S. and two from Canada are typically appointed for the process. The nominees are chosen based on administrative experience and success in their fields.

Anthony Cascardi, the dean of arts and humanities from the University of California-Berkeley, Charmaine Dean, the dean of the faculty of science at Western, and Anthony Masi, the provost at McGill, have been chosen this year to provide their views on UTM’s progress and sufficiency.

“The reviewers meet with a broad range of constituencies that will provide the reviewers with the opportunity to hear a wide range of views,” said Blackburn-Evans.

The reviewers will focus on seven areas, including the appropriateness of UTM’s financial and administrative organization in reaching its academic goals and UTM’s relationships with external organizations both domestic and foreign.

In their final report the reviewers will make comments and conclusions about both the positive elements and their concerns.