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School Monitoring and Review Procedures

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Section 1 - Overview

(1) These procedures provide guidance to staff of the University of New England for the implementation of the Academic Quality Management Policy, specifically in relation to the ongoing monitoring and review of a School's performance, and should be read in conjunction with that policy.

(2) School Reviews are intended to assure the University Council (with reference to clauses 16(1B)(b) and 16(1B)(c) of the University of New England Act 1993) and the Academic Board that the School concerned is functioning effectively, has the resources needed to implement the strategy of the University, and is delivering quality outcomes in teaching and learning, research, community engagement, and student and staff performance.

Section 2 - Scope

(3) These procedures apply to all designated Schools of the University of New England.

Section 3 - Procedures

Framework

(4) UNE deploys a four-pronged approach to School monitoring and review:

  1. continuous monitoring of School performance to proactively identify areas of potential concern as they arise;
  2. preparation of a brief Annual Self-Review Report by each Head of School (HoS), highlighting areas of good performance as well as those of concern, with the view to identifying action for improvement where needed;
  3. comprehensive external School-wide Review, normally every five (5) years to identify any structural and/or performance issues and to agree on actions that will position the School for the future; and
  4. capacity to trigger an unscheduled investigation or review of any aspect of School performance.

Continuous Monitoring

(5) It is the responsibility of the HoS to regularly access, analyse and reflect upon the performance and sustainability of the School in relation to the School Strategic Plan, University Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as referenced in the current UNE Strategic Plan, and the annual Business Plan, using University corporate data such as that listed in Appendix A together with other data considered by the School. Key areas of interest may include:

  1. strategic positioning;
  2. structure, management and governance;
  3. staffing, resources and infrastructure;
  4. teaching and learning (including quality and viability of units, courses and disciplines);
  5. research; and
  6. community engagement.

(6) As appropriate, the HoS should raise issues or concerns with the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and agree on any requisite actions for implementation within an agreed timeframe.

Annual Self-Review Report

(7) The purpose of the Annual Self-Review Report is to inform a conversation between the HoS and the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the School, with the goal of recognising success and identifying action for improvement where needed, and negotiating resourcing or other strategic commitments. The Annual Self-Review Report will also feed directly into the annual budget process.

(8) The HoS will prepare and submit the Annual Self-Review Report to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at a time to be negotiated with the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellorwithin the first quarter of the year.

(9) The Annual Self-Review Report should be brief and not exceed five (5) pages and should:

  1. reference the School Strategic Plan;
  2. consider, but not be limited to, the key areas of interest referred to in clause 5 of this procedure regarding continuous monitoring;
  3. include a brief analysis of the School's performance over the past 12 months, providing benchmarking information where possible, and identifying strengths and weaknesses with plans for improvement;
  4. include consideration of trends in outcomes of unit monitoring and course monitoring and/or review at the School level;
  5. comment on the School's strategic contribution to UNE within the context of the University's Strategic Plan and School Plans;
  6. identify anticipated challenges and provide a plan to address the risks and opportunities arising from those challenges;
  7. provide the basis for informed planning, including the resourcing of the School's future needs.

(10) The DVC will meet with the HoS two (2) weeks after submission of the Annual Self-Review Report to discuss the Report and agree actions to take place within an agreed timeframe.

External Reviews

(11) Normally, an external review is to be undertaken every five (5) years, or at the discretion of the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, to identify any structural and/or performance issues; and to identify actions that will position the School well for the future.

(12) The options for the external review are:

  1. desk-top audit by external reviewer(s) who have appropriate expertise and experience, or
  2. full on-site external review by a Review Panel, with a majority of members being external to the University.

(13) The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor will publish the schedule for external School Reviews on the University website, in consultation with the HoS.

(14) One (1) year prior to the scheduled review of a School the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor will determine whether a review can be waived and/or which option as outlined in clause 12 will be required. The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor will advise the HoS accordingly.

(15) The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor will determine the form that the external school review will take informed by, but not limited to, the results of recent School performance monitoring, Annual Self-Review Reports, any mid-term investigations and action plans, and contextual issues such as the commencement or departure of a HoS.

External Review by Desk-top Audit

(16) 16) The HoS will submit a five-year Self-Review Report to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of no more than ten (10) pages, based on the School's Annual Self-Review Reports for the previous five (5) years, reflecting on any benchmarking activity and identifying:

  1. the results of agreed actions arising from continuous monitoring and Annual Self-Review Reports, and/or benchmarking activities;
  2. the performance of the School in relation to the areas identified at clause 5);
  3. strengths and weaknesses, including actions taken or planned to improve performance;
  4. a list of three (3) external senior academics suggested to undertake the desk-top audit.

(17) The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor will, in consultation with the relevant HoS:

  1. identify external senior academic(s) to undertake the desk-top audit;
  2. establish Terms of Reference (ToR) for the desk-top audit, with reference to the standard ToR provided in Appendix B.

(18) The School's five-year Self-Review Report will form the basis of the desk-top audit.

External Review by Review Panel

(19) The HoS will prepare a self-review portfolio of no more than fifty (50) pages, based on the School's Annual Self-Review Reports for the previous five (5) years, and any additional information required to respond to the ToR.

(20) The Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor will:

  1. establish ToR, with reference to the standard terms of reference provided in Appendix B, for endorsement by the Standing Committee of Academic Board;
  2. appoint an external Chair and other members to a Review Panel, in accordance with the Review Panel membership set out in Appendix C;
  3. communicate to the relevant HoS, the Review Panel and the University community the time-frame for the review in accordance with Appendix D; and
  4. designate University staff to provide secretarial support for the Review Panel.

(21) The secretary to the Review Panel will support the review as set out in Appendix D.

(22) The Review Panel meetings will:

  1. enable the panel to consider and discuss the School's self-review portfolio, meet with/interview relevant stakeholders, and prepare a report for the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor;
  2. be conducted in private and, as far as permitted by law, will treat oral submissions as confidential.

Unscheduled Investigations and Reviews

(23) The purpose of an unscheduled investigation or review is to provide the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and/or HoS with advice regarding a particular issue of concern.

(24) The need for an unscheduled investigation or review will be determined by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the HoS.

(25) An unscheduled review may consider a School, an aspect of a School's performance, or an issue of concern to the University (which may involve two or more Schools).

(26) ToR should be developed by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in consultation with the HoS based on the ToR provided in Appendix B.

Review Panel Reports (External Reviews and Unscheduled Reviews): Implementation and Reporting

(27) The Review Panel will provide a draft of their report to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and HoS to enable corrections.

(28) The Final Report will then be provided to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the HoS.

(29) The HoS will then prepare a response to the Final Report identifying actions and relevant implementation plan to address the Report's recommendations for endorsement by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

(30) A copy of the response will be forwarded to the Academic Board and the Academic Quality and Analytics Unit for noting.

(31) The HoS will prepare a progress report to the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor 12 months after endorsement of the response to the Review.

(32) A copy of the progress report is to be considered by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor before forwarding to the Academic Board and the Office of Planning and Quality for noting as part of UNE's quality assurance processes.

Section 4 - Appendix A — Suggested Data Sets

(33) The teaching and learning performance analysis will include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  1. enrolment trends (by course type, cohort, Indigenous students, international students, and other equity groups);
  2. attrition rates (by course type, cohort, Indigenous students, international students, and other equity groups);
  3. pass rates (by course type, cohort, Indigenous students, international students, and other equity groups);
  4. course completion rates (by course type, cohort, Indigenous students, international students, and other equity groups);
  5. student and graduate satisfaction.

(34) Research performance analysis will include, but not necessarily be limited to:

  1. research grants and other research income generated by the School;
  2. research publications;
  3. research training quality — higher degree research student performance and support, including supervision suitability;
  4. research collaborations (locally, nationally and internationally);
  5. research consultancies;
  6. research activity and impact eg. ERA outcomes.

(35) The type of community engagement activities to be included in the report include links and/or collaborations between the School and/or its staff and other areas within and outside the University, including the private and public sector, professional groups and the wider community, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. These may involve:

  1. a School member taking part in activities with an external organisation;
  2. personnel from an external organisation being involved in the activities of the School, including serving on Advisory Committees;
  3. relationships with professional accrediting organisations/government agencies/business/industry;
  4. alumni-related activities;
  5. promotional activities;
  6. outreach activities;
  7. funding support from professional organisations/industry (e.g. scholarships, prizes).

(36) The overview of the School's management and governance will include brief comment on the following aspects in relation to the previous 12 months and into the future:

  1. the School's academic governance arrangements, including the roles of committees, participation by students on committees, internal quality assurance, risk management and compliance measures;
  2. the suitability of the School's staffing profile (level, qualifications, workload of staff) for courses taught and student : staff ratios;
  3. staffing matters including staff recruitment planning, staff retention, an overview of the Professional Performance Development and Review (PPDR) process, and management of the Special Studies Program (SSP) within the School;
  4. budget management in relation to past 12 months and into the future;
  5. suitability of the School's physical resources (space, information technology infrastructure);
  6. the School's contribution to Indigenous engagement in curriculum and employment;
  7. feed-back from students and staff and other stakeholders, the management of complaints or grievances from students or staff, and the effectiveness of student and staff support mechanisms.

(37) 5) Accurate corporate data will be provided by the Corporate Intelligence Unit that allows for consistent analyses to be undertaken over time and across schools.

Section 5 - Appendix B — Standard Terms of Reference for External Reviews of Schools

(38) 1) The external review of Schools will be undertaken within the context of the University's Strategic Plan, and will:

  1. examine the School's past performance, its current practice, and improvements made since its previous review;
  2. consider the School's compliance and risk management performance;
  3. benchmark the School's current structures, activities and performance nationally and internationally wherever possible;
  4. make recommendations on the future direction of the School in terms of opportunities, the University's strategic priorities and compliance requirements;
  5. identify potential and opportunities for the School to ensure sustainability through:
    1. future collaborative ventures within and outside the University;
    2. intensifying, focusing and developing its programs, research and community engagement.

(39) The School's performance in teaching and learning, research and community engagement will be analysed in the context of current and anticipated future developments in its constituent discipline/s.

(40) Achievements relating to teaching and learning will particularly focus on the quality, scope, focus and direction of the School's courses and teaching, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in light of agreed teaching and learning indicators. These may include (but not be limited to):

  1. the suggested data sets identified in Appendix A;
  2. student recruitment activities;
  3. the perceptions of key external stakeholders;
  4. benchmarking with alternative programs within and beyond Australia;
  5. any professional accreditation issues;
  6. award and application of teaching grants.

(41) Achievements relating to research performance and profile of the School and its constituent disciplines may include (but not be limited to):

  1. the suggested data sets identified in Appendix A;
  2. the teaching/research nexus — how research informs teaching within the School;
  3. bench-marking information (against the performance of similar disciplines within and beyond Australia).

(42) Achievements with respect to the School's performance in community engagement and professional relationships may include (but not be limited to) the suggested data sets identified in Appendix A.

(43) Review of the School's management and governance may include (but not be limited to) the suggested data sets identified in Appendix A. It will focus on:

  1. the School's internal management, organisation, administration and staffing arrangements, in the context of its functions and resource allocation;
  2. the effectiveness of the School's use of resources in relation to accommodation, space and teaching and research equipment and facilities;
  3. the key relationships and dependencies between the School and other schools and administrative directorates of the University;
  4. the effectiveness of the working and learning environment for staff and students.

Section 6 - Appendix C — External Review Panel Membership

(44) The overall composition of the School Review Panel should aim to provide as broad acoverage as possible of all the major disciplines in the School.

(45) The membership may comprise:

  1. at least two (not more than three) external members with nationally/internationally recognised expertise from relevant disciplines or professional fields;
  2. one HoS from a different discipline;
  3. where applicable, at least one (not more than two) representative/s of the relevant profession/s or employer group/s.

(46) The Chair will be appointed by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor and will normally be one of the external members under 45(a) above.

(47) The School Review Panel will be supported by a secretary who will be appointed by the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Section 7 - Appendix D —Suggested Program for Comprehensive External Review

Prior to External Review Panel Meeting (EPRM)
Time before EPRM Activity
4 months Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor to set date for ERPM. Office of Planning & Quality to call for additional BI data beyond that presented in the corporate dashboards and summarise, collate and present in a manner that enables HoS to report effectively.
3 months Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor to appoint External Review Panel (ERP), Chair & secretarial support.
3 to 2.5 months Secretary to book travel, accommodation, venue and catering. HoS to prepare comprehensive self-review report.
6 weeks Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor to call for written submissions to ER from internal and external stakeholders, to be provided by 3 weeks before ERPM, and expressions of interest to meet with ERP.
3 weeks HoS to submit comprehensive self-review report.
2.5 weeks Secretary to provide draft timetable for ERPM, the School's self-review report and written submissions to ERP.
2 weeks ERP requests for additional information to be lodged with secretary for communication to HoS.
2 to 1.5 weeks Secretary and ERP Chair to finalise timetable, and Secretary to confirm attendees.
1 to .5 weeks Secretary to provide any additional information and final timetable to ERP.