Top marks for toxicology

When they heard their program was ranked among the top five in the world after a recent Graduate Program Review (GPR) process, the faculty and staff at the Toxicology Centre and their colleagues in the College of Graduate Studies and Research (CGSR) felt both surprised and pleased.

"Along with ranking the programs at the Toxicology Centre in the top five in the world, the reviewers were very impressed with the caliber of the research being undertaken, the quality of faculty and the quality of the facilities," said Lawrence Martz, dean of the CGSR.

But the positive review of the toxicology programs was just one of a number of graduate program reviews undertaken in the past year, said Martz. Programs in animal and poultry science; bioresource policy, business and economics; food and bioproduct sciences; plant sciences; and soil science were also assessed.

"The graduate program reviews have affirmed our excellence in bioresource and environmental research and advanced training," said Martz. "Our leadership position in applied biosciences has also been very strongly affirmed."

GPR is part of an assessment and quality assurance program that the university is pursuing, he explained. It followed the adoption of the Framework for Assessment by University Council and the Board of Governors in 2008.

"Graduate Program Review is essentially a quality assurance exercise through which we both measure or assess for ourselves whether the programs we deliver are at a high standard of quality and also demonstrate to our stakeholders that this is a matter of importance to us," said Martz.

The GPR process begins with a self-assessment. Then a review team is assembled consisting of an internal U of S member, a member from another Canadian university, and another from an international university. Their subsequent report generates responses from the department or college, the provost and Martz.  A synthesis report will ultimately be distributed and will lay out the outcomes from the first year of the GPR process, said Martz.

Over the next year, GPR will look at programs in education, law, business and the interdisciplinary programs in CGSR.

Robin Mowat is communications specialist in the Institutional Planning and Assessment Office

Share this story