Guidelines for the Selection of External Reviewers

Over-arching goal: We seek the advice of senior scholars who have a perspicacious view of a discipline or important sub-disciplinary area of a unit.

Process: The department submits the names of 8 to 12 possible external reviewers, with brief professional information on each.  The information should include:

  • Areas of scholarly and teaching expertise, with significant publications/creations
  • Administrative experience
  • Significant service to/leadership in professional organizations
  • Contact information (e-mail, mailing address, phone)

If the department is nominating individuals for two distinct positions on the committee (e.g., differentiated by sub-discipline), the lists should be organized separately. Individuals who have served in a previous review of the department will not be invited to serve again.

Proposed external reviewers are vetted and prioritized by the CLAS Deans and the CLAS Executive Committee. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs & Curriculum contacts designated individuals and arrangements for the review are coordinated by CLAS administrative staff members.

Personal characteristics: Full professor with significant record of scholarly productivity as well as some, usually significant, administrative experience. Examples include department chair, center director, associate dean as well as former deans or provosts.  Currently serving upper-level administrators are difficult to schedule and are normally avoided as a consequence.  Proposed external reviewers must not have a close professional relationship (e.g., as co-author, former student, or mentor) of any member of the department under review.

Institutional characteristics: External reviewers should have extensive experience working at an institution that is somewhat similar to UI, a comprehensive, public research university.  In the first instance, reviewers would be nominated from other BIG10 schools (minus Northwestern) as well as the Iowa Board of Regents “Peer Group”: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of Texas, Austin; University of Arizona; and University of California, Los Angeles.  Other large public institutions from which to nominate candidates can be found in the list of members of the Association of American Universities https://www.aau.edu/who-we-are/our-members.  An example would be the University of Washington.