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External Faculty Review 2012-2014

The University of Toronto commissions external reviews of Faculties as part of its regular cycle of quality assurance. The final report of the reviewers, and the responses of the Dean and Provost to the review, are presented to University governance and are made broadly available to faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners.

As part of this regular cycle, the Provost appointed a team of external reviewers from peer institutions to undertake an assessment of the Faculty. A core component of the process was the preparation of an Arts & Science Self-Study and a site visit by the external reviewers on October 28-30, 2013.

Through a consultative and broad-based process, in 2012-13 we reflected upon our collective achievements and evaluating the Faculty’s academic and administrative performance. As a result of this process, we produced our Self-Study, the primary reference document for the review. The Self-Study addressed the terms of reference for the review and documents the Faculty’s progress in achieving its academic mission for the past five years, 2008-June 2013.

During their site visit in October 2013, the reviewers met with students, faculty and staff, academic administrators within the Faculty as well as senior University administrators and cognate deans.  In December 2013, the reviewers presented their Report in relation to Arts & Science undergraduate and graduate education, research, planning, organization and resources, our relationships with other University units as well as our social impact.

The Report highlights our strengths and challenges as well as recommending opportunities where we might further improve our Faculty. The reviewers were impressed with our progress and accomplishments since the last external review, noting our strong, undergraduate and graduate programs, the quality of our faculty, staff and students, and our research initiatives. They concluded that "there is no question about the overall excellence of the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto" and that we have "excellent faculty, staff, and students that are energetically committed to conducting world-class research and scholarship." Arts & Science "remains committed to providing a high quality education to their students, even in these times of fiscal constraint, and they are looking for ways to add breadth and depth to the student experience."

The Report was circulated to the Arts & Science community in January 2014. The Faculty’s senior leadership then embarked upon two rounds of consultations with Arts & Science Council, the Council of Chairs, Principals & Academic Directors (CPAD), the Coalition of Arts & Science Directors (CASD), administrative groups, undergraduate and graduate student representatives, and with other members of the University. We first had a general discussion regarding the Report and its recommendations. We then followed with a second round of discussion, focusing on the draft contents of an administrative response to the Report. The Faculty’s resulting administrative response to the Report aligns with the Terms of Reference, and speaks to the reviewers’ insights and recommendations related to teaching, research, planning, and internal organization and finances.

In terms of next steps, the Report, along with the administrative response, will then be presented to University governance in the Spring of 2014.



  • Background Documents