ORU Review Process

UCSC Office of Research ORU Five-Year Review Process



    1. Responsible Administrator: Per UCSC Campus ORU Guidelines, the Responsible Administrator is the officer who has fiscal and administrative authority for the ORU under review. Review process responsibilities include: contributing to the substance of the self-study charge; with Reviewer, recommend Ad Hoc Review Committee members; contribute to committee charge; participate in review activities; and respond to the committee report.

    2. Reviewer: Per UCSC Campus ORU Guidelines, the Reviewer is the officer (either VCR or Dean depending on where the ORU reports) who is tasked by the EVC with conducting the five-year review. Responsibilities of the Reviewer include setting and managing the schedule, initiating the review, selecting the ad hoc review committee along with the responsible administrator, charging the self-study, charging the review committee, coordinating the review activities, coordinating post review activities, and disseminating the report and recommendations.

    3. ORU Director: Responsibilities include managing the self-study effort, coordinating with ORU advisory committee, participating in and helping to coordinate review, responding to review report.

    4. ORU Advisory Committee: The Director is aided by a standing Advisory Committee, chaired by a faculty member other than the Director, which meets regularly and participates actively in setting the unit’s goals and in critically evaluating its effectiveness on a continuing basis. Specifically, the Advisory Committee provides Council to the Director on all matters pertaining to the unit, including budgetary matters and personnel. The Chair of the Advisory Committee, and as many other members as practical, should meet with five-year review committees and otherwise be available for consultation by the five-year review committee during the course of its review. The Advisory Committee is made up predominantly of faculty members, but may include some members from the professional research series and may have some members from outside the University.
    5. Ad Hoc Review Committee Chair: A member of the committee, who will manage committee report development and production. Selected by the Reviewer based on recommendations from Responsible Administrator and COR.

    6. Ad Hoc Review Committee Member: Appointed by Reviewer, can be either internal or external to campus. Agrees to accept the schedule and associated responsibilities, including reading background material, meeting with reviewer and responsible administrator, participating in review day events, delivering a draft report and final report according to schedule and in compliance with charge.

    7. Committee on Research (COR): Reviews and comments on Ad Hoc Review Committee Charge, recommends Review Committee nominees, responds to Committee Report, recommends continuation or disestablishment of ORU, and continuation or replacement of current ORU Director.


    1. The self-study charge should anticipate the Ad Hoc Review Committee charge.  Per UCOP guidance, reviews should address “original purpose, present functioning, research accomplishments, future plans and continuing development to meet the needs of the field…the review should assess the adequacy of space and other resources made available to the unit…budget…including sources of funds and expenditures…the review should make recommendations, if appropriate for improvements in the mission, budget, administration, research focus, space and other resource requirements, and programs and activities of the unit.” (UCOP ORU Policy, 10a, 2010).

    2. The ORU will prepare a self-study document, which will consist of the following:

      1. Original purpose and present functioning: The first section provides the ORU’s assessment of its current direction in research. Appropriate questions are along these lines: What are the mission and goals of the ORU? Has the ORU been successful in meeting them? How has the research evolved from the establishment of the unit up to this point? How do the ORU’s activities create engagement with the affiliated department(s) and contribute to graduate student training and mentorship and financial support? Discuss evolution in resources (e.g., growth in budget, research and administrative staffing) to the current levels.

      2. Research accomplishments: Over the five-year time period covered by the review, what have been the extramural awards garnered and significant research accomplishments in the field? Comment on the continuing productivity and influence of ORU participants, locally as well as nationally and internationally. Comment on the ORU’s collaborative/interdisciplinary work, its quality, and impact on the ORU’s research efforts and the campus. Describe the possible sources and availability of extramural funds to support the ORU’s research.

      3. Future plans and continuing development: This section, building from the ORU’s assessment of the current functioning, should address issues important to the progress within the next five years. These issues may be specific resource goals, space constraints, and planned growth of engagement with faculty or graduate support, and cultivating new or reinforcing existing external partnerships. Strategies for pursuing plans should be proposed within available or foreseeable resource allocations.

      4. Self-Study Appendices:

        • Link to a comprehensive unit website, or a list of individual researcher links, that provides current research focus and CV for each researcher who has held an appointment in the past three years.  Include an organizational chart to illustrate the administrative structure of the ORU.

        • Total extramural research funding proposed and awarded (public and private) by year since the last review. The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) will provide a baseline report; units may augment this report with data not captured by OSP.

        • History of ORU director appointments (at least since the previous review) and plans for succession.

        • Postdoctoral fellows: sources of support (fellowships, external grants, other) and number of fellows by year since previous review.

        • Graduate students: by area or cluster if relevant, five-year history of doctoral and/or master’s students, including thesis (and/or project) title, principal advisor, and year degree was awarded, and job placement.

        • List of non-PI research and administrative staff.

        • Budget: five-year history of revenues and expenditures.

        • Equipment inventory, with age and plans for retirement, upgrading, or replacement.


    1. The ORU Advisory Committee report should include an evaluation of progress on goals and the effectiveness of the unit during the time period under review.


    1. Introduction and Executive Summary (including mission statement, evaluation of overall scholarly quality, evaluation of self-assessment, and assessment of Director’s performance).

    2. Evidence of Accomplishment (in research, undergraduate/graduate research training, external recognition, diversity, and public service/outreach).

    3. Budget (effective use of campus funds, extramural funding success, critical unmet funding needs).

    4. Space and Resources (adequacy, appropriateness, reasonableness).

    5. Governance and Administration (structure and effectiveness, leadership, advisory committee contribution, succession planning, as well as faculty participation).

    6. Five-Year Projections (commentary on the Director’s budget and plan for the next five years).

    7. Conclusion and Recommendations.  

UCSC Office of Research ORU Fifteen-Year Review Process

To begin a fifteen- year review, an ORU should develop a formal proposal for continued ORU status, support funds, and space in the context of current campus and University needs and resources. The proposal should state a persuasive rationale for the unit's continuation and should include all of the information required of proposals for ORU establishment, and for a five year review (detailed above). In addition, the proposal should describe the ORU's achievements over the past 15 years, the contributions the ORU has made to research, graduate and undergraduate education and public service, and the consequences if the ORU were not continued. 


UCSC Office of Research ORU Five-Year Review Process

Process Step


Month 1
Initiate the Review

Reviewer, i.e., either VCR or Dean (as designated)

Set Review Process Dates

Reviewer, with inputs from Responsible Administrator

Charge the Self-Study (notify ORU Director to begin Self-Study) Reviewer, with inputs from Responsible Administrator
Meet with ORU Director to go over the Review Process


Month 2

Solicit committee nominations from ORU Director & Responsible Administrator


 Send nominations to COR for input


Month 3
Appoint ad hoc review committee members from list of nominees Reviewer with COR
Month 4
Receive and review Self-Study with Advisory Committee Report Reviewer
Initiate planning Review Visit Reviewer, with inputs from Responsible Administrator
Month 5
Solicit and receive Responsible Administrator’s response to Self-Study with Advisory Committee Report Reviewer

Draft charge for the review committee

  • Reviewer distribute initial charge to academic committees and Responsible Administrator
  • Reviewer solicit and receive additional questions from COR and Responsible Administrator
Reviewer, with input from COR, and Responsible Administrator
Month 6
Charge the review committee Reviewer
Distribute Self-Study with Advisory Committee Report, previous external review report & Annual Reports for time period being reviewed to review committee Reviewer
Month 7-8
Review Day Agenda Reviewer & Responsible Administrator with input from the review committee chair
Month 9
Conduct the Review Reviewer
Month 10-11
Review Committee drafts report Review Committee
Month 12
Receive and distribute draft report to Responsible Administrator & ORU Director Reviewer
Month 13
Return factual corrections (along with comments from ORU Advisory Committee) to Reviewer ORU Director
Return comments to Reviewer Responsible Administrator
Meet with Review Committee Reviewer & Responsible Administrator
Month 14
Receive Final Report from Review Committee Reviewer
Meet with ORU Director Reviewer, Responsible Administrator
Solicit COR recommendations Reviewer
Month 15
Receive COR recommendations


Campus-Level Closure Meeting held


Letter and final report delivered to ORU Director, Responsible Administrator, COR, EVC and Chancellor