Guidelines for the Dean’s Letter
To help the review team prepare for its site visit, the unit’s Dean writes a focused letter, which is provided to the reviewers prior to their visit. The Dean’s letter offers a unique perspective on the place of the unit within the college as a whole. Although there is no prescribed format, the Dean’s letter may, among other things,
1) contextualize the unit’s roles in and contributions to the activities of its college.
2) evaluate the fit between the unit’s proposed goals and objectives, as stated in its self-study report, and those of any ongoing, college-level, strategic planning efforts as well as the suitability of those goals and objectives more generally.
3) offer insights with regard to the desirability and feasibility of allocating college resources to meet the unit’s stated goals and objectives.
APR is expected, wherever possible, to be a budget-neutral process, with its major focus on non-resource-dependent program quality improvements. The cost of quality improvements will need to be met, for the most part, by reallocations elsewhere within the relevant unit or college or from sources external to the university. Therefore, recognizing that some quality improvements may require resources, deans and unit heads may choose to redirect resources within existing college and department budgets to facilitate the achievement of the unit’s goals and objectives. Moreover, deans can engage with units to identify and pursue entrepreneurial strategies for funding particular initiatives.
4) direct the attention of the reviewers to particular questions and issues for which their insight and feedback may be most helpful.