Comprehensive Program Review FAQs

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Site Visit

What does the site visit entail?

The site visit consists of two consecutive business days where two to three external evaluators visit campus and meet with department faculty and staff, graduate and undergraduate students (where applicable), postdocs and clinical faculty (where applicable), the academic dean, the vice provost for educational affairs and dean of the graduate school and the provost, among others.

Who should come and evaluate my program?

The potential external evaluators should fulfill the following criteria:

  • Full Professor, preferably from a public, Research I, university.
  • Have no significant prior or present connections to the department/program.
  • Have not been the mentor or mentee of a faculty member.
  • Have not engaged in collaborative research or published with a member of the unit within the previous 10 years.
  • Should not have a significant personal or professional relationship with a unit member.

Based on this criteria, the department should compile a list of four to six potential external evaluators, including links to their CV’s and/or bio-sketches) and send them to Emily Luchterhand ( Emily will then have the list vetted by the appropriate deans. Upon approval or instruction, Emily will notify the department via email.

When will the site visit happen?

The site visit dates are up to your department, with approval from the various parties involved, sometime during the semester in which you were given by the Office of Academic Services. See the Tentative Review Schedule for information on when your site visit should be scheduled.

Who is responsible for escorting the external evaluators when they are in Buffalo?

The department is responsible for coordinating the travel to and from the airport, hotel and campus and also for escorting the external evaluators in between meetings.

What if I want to take the external evaluators out to dinner?

The department may take the external evaluators out to dinner on one, or both, days of the review. All up-front meal costs with the external evaluators (orientation breakfast, provided lunches, dinners with the evaluators) are the responsibility of the department. At the conclusion of the CPR, the department should create an Inter-departmental Invoice (IDI) and send it to Emily Luchterhand at (with copy of all itemized receipts) for reimbursement. The total reimbursement amount to the department for any single CPR should not exceed $500.00. All reimbursements are paid in state funds. Therefore the Office of Academic Services cannot reimburse any tax or alcohol purchased during the visit.

Is there a dollar amount limit that I can spend on meals?

Yes, all meal costs (orientation breakfast, lunches, dinners) should not exceed $500.00.

The Self-Study and Site Visit Itinerary

Is there a format that the department’s self-study should follow?

Yes, the department’s self-study should follow the self-study document guidelines and answer every question. Please note that the self-study document is different for each type of review (graduate only, undergraduate only, comprehensive):

How long should my self-study be?

The body of your self-study should be approximately 20-25 pages. The appendices and supporting documents are additional.

When is the self-study due?

The self-study should be shared with Emily Luchterhand ( in electronic form, no later than six weeks prior to your site visit to allow ample time for the appropriate deans to read and review the document and changes to be made by the department, where applicable, before sharing with the evaluation team, no later than three weeks prior to the review.

Who is responsible for the site visit itinerary?

The department is responsible for creating the site visit itinerary. There are three meetings that are scheduled by the Office Academic Services (OAS), they are as follows:

  • Orientation Breakfast – This one-hour meeting is held on the first day of the visit at 8:30 a.m. This meeting will be held within the department and the department is responsible for booking the room. The department is also responsible for providing a light continental breakfast. The attendees of this meeting are the academic dean (and/or designee), Katharine Darling, Elaine Cusker and the evaluation team.
  • Exit Interview – This one-hour meeting is the last major meeting, scheduled on the second day of the review. This meeting generally commences at 1:00 p.m., unless otherwise requested. This meeting will be held in Capen Hall, the exact location may vary. The attendees of this meeting are the provost, VPEA, VPUE (where applicable), academic dean (and/or designee), Katharine Darling, Elaine Cusker and the evaluation team.
  • Paperwork Meeting – This 15-minute meeting directly follows the exit interview and generally commences at 2:00 p.m. This meeting will be held in Capen Hall, the exact location may vary. The attendees of this meeting are Emily Luchterhand and the evaluation team.

In addition to the meetings scheduled by OAS, the itinerary should also include the following meetings/events:

  • Meeting with the department chair and/or program director.
  • Meeting with the directors of graduate and undergraduate study (where applicable).
  • Meeting with the graduate students and undergraduate students (where applicable).
  • Meeting with the admissions committee.
  • Meeting with any subcommittees.
  • Meeting with postdoctoral scholars and/or clinical faculty (where applicable).
  • Meeting with the staff.
  • An all-faculty meeting.
  • A one-hour (minimum) time for the evaluation team to meet alone (the best time for this meeting would be directly preceding the exit interview on the second day of the visit).

General Comprehensive Program Review FAQs

How often will my program get reviewed?

Typically programs are reviewed every five to seven years.

Will my externally accredited program be reviewed?

In general, externally accredited programs are not reviewed, however if your program falls within a department that is not 100 percent accredited externally, your program will be reviewed along with the department.

Who books the hotel and the flights for the evaluation team?

The Graduate School's Office of Academic Services (OAS) will book the hotel for the evaluation team, using the hotel of your choice from this list. The individual traveler should book his/her own flight. OAS will reimburse the individual traveler for his/her flight.

The site visit is over, now what happens?

Please see our CPR Process document for information on what happens following the site visit.

Still have questions? Email Emily Luchterhand (