Step 1 - Selecting Reviewers

External Reviewer Identification and Selection for Non-Degree Programs

The respective Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) and Unit/Program Director are notified of the scheduled program review one year before the external review team visits campus. 

During October the AVC and the Unit/Program Director independently develop lists of potential reviewers, share the lists with one another, and justify any objections on the other’s list. Reviewers must meet the following criteria:

Criteria: Evidenced by Items such as:
1. Demonstrated expertise in the program’s function.
  • Active participation in primary associations and professional organizations recognized by the type of program. 

2. Demonstrated experience related to the type of the program and institution.
  • Leadership status within a comparable program and institution.

  • Option: Depending on the nature of the program a professional expert may be included as a reviewer with EVCAA approval.

3. Ability to provide an objective review.
  • No conflicts of interests*.

  • Based on the nature of the program being reviewed, reviewers employed by institutions and programs considered direct competitors may not be considered.

4. Has not previously served as an external reviewer for the program at UMD.
  • UMD records.


The AVC submits both lists with comments to the EVCAA in November. If CVs for the reviewers are not readily available, information from their institution's website or other sources is sufficient to include with the lists.

During December the EVCAA comments on the lists in order to form a team that is a balance of both lists and represents a level of diversity that is appropriate for the program in terms of gender and ethnicity/race. The standard team is comprised of two external reviewers, although team size may be adjusted based on the type and size of the program reviewed.

During the spring semester of the review preparation year, the AVC's office contacts the selected reviewers and invites them to serve on the external review team. The AVC's office also works with the reviewers to identify the team chair, set the review dates, and distribute materials when they are ready. 

The program faculty and staff are not to contact any external reviewer recommended or selected before the visit regarding the program or the review, but they are expected to participate in the team’s visit. The AVC's office and Program Director are responsible for determining who will coordinate and arrange for the the team’s transportation. 

*Conflicts of Interest:  Actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Within the past ten years, employment, enrollment as a student, or other service in any capacity by UMD or its programs.

  • Within the past three years, employment, enrollment as a student, or other service in any capacity by an institution within the University of Minnesota System.

  • Within the past year, employment, enrollment as a student, or other service in any capacity by an institution that is a competitor of the program under review or that may otherwise have a material interest in the outcome of the actions regarding the program under review.

  • Within the past three years, employment, enrollment as a student, or other service capacity and direct involvement in the development, direct oversight, and continuing direct management of joint programs or other collaborative educational activities at an institution in cooperation with the institution under review.

  • Within the past year, having been a candidate for employment in any capacity or having applied for enrollment as a student at UMD.

  • Having an immediate family member(s) who is (are) a current employee(s), board member(s), candidate(s) for employment or admission to a degree program, or student(s) enrolled in a degree program, at UMD.

  • Being an alumna or alumnus of UMD.

  • Having hosted a peer review team for a program at the person’s institution that included a member of the UMD’s program. 


  • “Employment” includes any engagement by the institution, including consulting or contractual services, whether or not compensated by the institution itself.
  • “Enrollment” includes any academic involvement whether or not for credit or leading to an academic credential of any kind.
  • “Other service” includes, but is not limited to, serving as a board member, advisor, member of an advisory board or committee.
  • “Immediate family members” include spouses, siblings, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and domestic partners.