I. Executive Summary
A regular, ongoing evaluation of the performance of academic administrators is essential to improve administrative performance and assure accountability for the achievement of institutional goals. There are two elements in a successful evaluation procedure: formative and evaluative. The formative element involves a process of collecting information of current performance, analyzing this information, and providing feedback to the person being evaluated to improve current performance. The evaluative element is a much more comprehensive evaluation procedure carried out at much less frequent intervals. While it also involves the collection and analysis of information on performance, its perspective is broader than simply current performance, and its purpose is more judgmental--as to whether it is in the institution’s best interests to continue with or replace that administrator. This policy and procedure outlines the principles and requirements necessary for evaluation.
II. Policy and Procedure Statement
Following are guiding principles for the design of thorough, fair, and unbiased processes and procedures for evaluation of administrators, including Department Chairs and School Directors, Assistant/Associate Deans, Deans, and Provost:
- An evaluation process designed to improve the current performance of administrators requires a two-way, ongoing exchange of information. Broad input is required for a comprehensive review, including self-assessment, formation of representative committees, input from faculty, chairs, deans, and other administrators, and, at least for some administrators, relevant off-campus constituencies.
- The evaluation process provides sufficient flexibility to allow individual colleges or units to continue or develop their own procedures to review college or unit specific issues. However, such local procedures must be consistent with campus-wide guidelines.
- A performance review requires the development of a comprehensive job description. These job descriptions should be developed at the unit level (department for chairs, college for deans, and so on) where a clear and thorough job description does not already exist. These job descriptions must be consistent with campus-wide criteria that address expectations common to all academic administrators.
- The campus-wide criteria forming the underlying basis for all administrator job descriptions should include considerations of performance in the main areas of academic administration: leadership/vision/planning; faculty and staff allocation, recruitment, development, and retention; instructional, research and service programs; student recruitment, advising and oversight; and budget/management. In addition, the campus-wide criteria should include attention to the performance of administrators in enhancing the presence of diverse groups and creating a positive climate in their unit for the development of faculty, staff, and students.
- As far as is possible, the review process is the responsibility of the members of the academic unit of the administrator under review.
- The annual review process is designed to assist the administrator in doing his/her job better and to determine the extent of merit raises. The collective results of these annual reviews will form an important component of the comprehensive evaluation procedure.
- The review process is designed primarily to evaluate the effectiveness of the administrator and to assist the administrator in doing his/her job better. However, while the recommendations emerging from the review process are advisory in nature, careful attention by the administrator’s supervisor is given both to using these recommendations and to being seen to be using these recommendations in making decisions on the reappointment and/or professional development of the administrator.
- Deadline dates for collection of data, delivery of the data to the Review Committee, and designation of personnel to assemble the data are the responsibility of the official who appoints the Review Committee. Material provided to the Review Committee will include copies of the unit goals and planning documents.
EXPECTATIONS OF GOOD ADMINISTRATORS
The campus-wide guidelines, which will be part of the job descriptions, should also address appropriate and desirable "behaviors" expected of administrators. These could include (but are not limited to) the ability to listen, build consensus, establish priorities, address difficult issues, resolve conflicts, and maintain a high level of personal integrity. Also, the guidelines should pay specific attention to broad campus goals on the enhancement of diversity and the creation of a positive "climate" for faculty, staff, and students.
Annual evaluations of Department Chairs and School Directors, Assistant/Associate Deans, Deans, and the Provost are conducted by elected review committees. For Chairs, the appropriate review committee could be the elected Department Review Committee (DRC) or another duly elected committee. For Deans, Assistant Deans, and Associate Deans, the appropriate elected review committee might be the College Review Committee (CRC), a college faculty executive committee (such as the Executive Committee of the College of Engineering Faculty Organization), or some other elected committee to be determined by each college or the Library. An appropriate review committee for the Provost could be the Faculty Academic Planning and Budget Committee and/or elected members of the Faculty Executive Committee.
The annual review process is initiated when the administrator submits to the Review Committee ("committee") and to the faculty a brief self-assessment, goals, and summary of accomplishments for the current academic year and goals for the upcoming year. The administrator should also report upon his/her teaching and professional activities. The self-assessment and summary of accomplishments should explicitly address the goals set in the previous year and the entire self-assessment and summary should not exceed five pages. This summary should be provided to the committee on or before April 1. Administrators are also asked to provide a statement waiving their right to review individual faculty responses and comments received during the review process; this waiver should be submitted to the administrator's supervisor.
For Chairs, Assistant and Associate Deans, and Deans, the committee will distribute a copy of the administrator’s self-assessment and summary of accomplishments to each voting member of the administrator’s academic unit and to staff as deemed appropriate by the next highest administrator. For the Provost, the committee distributes a copy of the Provost’s self-assessment and summary of accomplishments and goals to Deans, Chairs, and the Faculty Executive Committee.
Each year members of the faculty from the unit are invited to send comments on the administrator’s performance to the committee. While the committee may simply ask for a general response, it could also guide these comments by asking for responses to questions such as "What did this administrator do well this year?" "What could this administrator do to improve his/her performance?" and "What other issues do you believe deserve the administrator’s attention in the coming year?" The committee collects and analyzes these responses; however, in preparing its analysis of the administrator’s performance, the committee is not limited solely to summarizing the evaluation responses. Regardless of the level of administrator, the committee should also utilize its independent judgment to prepare an evaluation report and make recommendations to improve the administrator’s effectiveness or call his or her attention to issues of concern to the faculty.
Because surveying faculty can be a particularly laborious task at a busy time of year, it is recommended that the committee decide when a more complete collection of faculty opinion is required to inform the annual review. In many cases, the committee members may decide that they know enough about faculty perceptions of an administrator’s performance to forgo a survey in any given year. However, the faculty should be formally asked for their input at least every three years. In the case of Department Chairs, this would correspond to the normal cycle for the consideration of reappointment and the more extensive evaluation process involved at that time. In the case of Deans and the Provost, the solicitation of faculty opinion in the third annual review would mark the midpoint between appointment and the five-year comprehensive review.
Analysis and Reporting
The committee is responsible for preparing an evaluation report to be submitted to the administrator and his or her supervisor. After discussing the committee’s report with the administrator, the supervising administrator prepares a summary of both the committee’s report and the actions mutually agreed upon by the administrator and the supervisor with respect to the recommendations made by the committee. This summary is provided to the administrator who may then revise their goals for the upcoming year as appropriate and disseminate the revised goals to all faculty.. For example, in the case of the annual review of a Department Chair, the committee prepares an evaluation report to be submitted to the Department Chair and the Dean. After discussing the report with the Department Chair, the Dean prepares a summary which is provided to the Department Chair. The Department Chair may revise their goals accordingly and disseminate the revised goals to the faculty.
Interval for Comprehensive Review
The comprehensive review is generally conducted in conjunction with development of the reappointment decision for that administrator. In that most chairs are appointed for a three-year term, the review will be triennial. For those few chairs on a five-year term, the review will be quinquennial. If a chair does not want to seek reappointment, or if a dean or the Provost will not consider reappointment, there is no need to do the review. For assistant and associate deans, deans, and the Provost, the appropriate interval between reviews should not exceed five years.
Chairs, Assistant and Associate Deans. The dean, after consultation with the DRC and the chair, selects a 5-7 person Review Committee. This committee should be broadly representative of the interests of the department. As a minimum, one person is an elected member of the departmental review committee, one will be a current administrator from outside the department, and one member will be from outside the college in which the department is located. Optionally, one member can be from an interested group outside the University such as a departmental advisory committee or professional organization with ties to the department. The committee is established before the end of the academic year prior to the comprehensive review of the chair and elects its own chairperson.
Deans. The Provost, after consultation with the CRC/LRC and the Dean, selects up to seven persons to form a Review Committee. This committee should be broadly representative of the interests of the college/library. As a minimum, one member of the committee will be selected from faculty elected to the college/library review or advisory committees, one from administrators outside the college/library such as another dean, and one from outside the University. The committee is established before the end of the academic year prior to the comprehensive review of the Dean.
The Provost. The Chancellor, after consultation with the Faculty Executive Committee, the deans, and the Provost, selects up to seven persons to form a Provost Review Committee. This committee should be broadly representative of the interests of all academic units. As a minimum, one member of the committee will be selected from a University division outside of Academic Affairs, and one member chosen from among the academic deans, one elected faculty member chosen from the Faculty Executive Committee or an ex-president of the faculty, and one member chosen from outside the University. The committee is established before the end of the academic year prior to the comprehensive review of the Provost.
- Before the end of the academic year prior to the review year, the committee meets with the administrator to jointly review the evaluation process, to decide on an appropriate timetable for the submission of a self-evaluation document from the administrator, and to establish a list of individuals (both internal and external to the unit) who have had an opportunity to work with the administrator and who are in a position to comment knowledgeably upon his/her performance.
Administrators will be asked to provide a statement waiving their right to review individual faculty responses and comments received during the review process; this waiver should be submitted to the administrator's supervisor.
For Chairs, this list of individuals to be contacted for input should include (but is not limited to): the full-time faculty (and staff) of the department; other administrators of the college; the departmental advisory (or visiting) committee (if any); alumni groups; community representatives (if appropriate); and students (individuals and groups, if any). In those units with significant numbers of part-time and non-tenure track faculty, feedback from these individuals should also be sought. For Assistant and Associate Deans, Deans, and the Provost, the list of individuals to be contacted for input should be appropriately broader, including department chairs, other senior administrators, student and alumni leaders, and community representatives as appropriate.
- During the fall semester of the review year the committee solicits evaluations for the administrator’s performance and effectiveness from appropriate interested parties. The individuals contacted will include, but are not limited to, those persons identified in part (1) above.
- The committee, in soliciting both written and oral input from these individuals, will assure confidentiality so that individual comments are not identified in the review, , subject to the administrator’s discretion not to waive access to these review materials
- The committee will use any other appropriate information in making its evaluation of the administrator’s performance. At a minimum, this information will include the administrator’s job description, the administrator’s self-evaluation, and the results of the annual evaluations of the administrator (if any).
- Deadline dates for collection of data, delivery of the data to the review committee, and designation of personnel to assemble the data are the responsibility of the official who appoints the committee.
Analysis and Reporting
- The task of the committee is to address the effectiveness and the methods of the administrator in performing his/her job. Effectiveness is to be principally judged on the basis of the administrator’s job description, and the progress made by the administrator’s unit toward meeting articulated academic and institutional goals.
- The committee submits its evaluation report to both the administrator and the administrator’s supervisor prior to the end of the fall semester of the review year. For example, in the comprehensive evaluation of a Department Chair, the committee submits its evaluation to both the Department Chair and the Dean.
- The administrator under review shall have the opportunity to correct any errors of fact or omission in this report by corresponding directly with his/her supervisor.
- After discussing the committee’s report with the administrator, the supervising administrator prepares a summary of both the committee’s report and the actions mutually agreed upon by the administrator and the supervisor with respect to the recommendations of the committee and provides the summary to the administrator. For example, in the comprehensive evaluation of a Department Chair, the Dean discusses the committee report with the Department Chair and prepares a summary which is provided to the Department Chair.
- In Chair instances, comprehensive reviews inform the Chair reappointment process. Therefore, the report of the committee, summary, and the recommendation of the Dean should be submitted to the office of Academic Budget and Personnel for the Provost's review and approval. The final decision regarding promotion of a Department Chair will be sent from the Provost to the Department Chair.
- The supervising administrator informs the unit of the decision to reappoint (or not) the administrator, including the agreed upon actions. For example, in the comprehensive evaluation of a Department Chair, the Dean informs the department of the decision and the actions mutually agreed upon.
- Faculty - All persons who hold Professorial Rank (Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor) or a Special Faculty Appointment (Visiting Professor, Adjunct Professor, Instructor, Assistant Professor (Library), Assistant Professor (Military), Lecturer, Assistant Research Professor, or Artist-in-Residence).
- Dean – The highest authority within an academic division of study. An Academic Dean heads each College. In addition to the academic deans, there is also a Dean of Students within the Division of Student Affairs.
- Department chair – The faculty member in charge of an academic department of the University.
- Provost – Reporting to the Chancellor, the Provost is the chief academic officer who oversees all academic affairs activities, including research and faculty. The Deans of each College report to the Provost.
IV. Policy and Procedure Contact(s)
- Authority: Faculty Council [Faculty Employment Status Committee]
- Responsible Office: Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
- Additional Contact(s): Academic Budget and Personnel
- Approved: February 20, 1997
- Revised: April 18, 2019 [Added administrator request to waive right to view individual faculty responses and comments during the review process.]
- Revised: October 29, 2020 [Faculty Council approved the revision to instruct administrators to release their self-assessment, goals, and summary of accomplishments on their own behalf, rather than those materials being released by the supervisor.]
- Revised: February 21, 2022 [Revised for clarity and examples have been provided throughout]
VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources
VII. Frequently Asked Questions
- Where is this policy and procedure referenced?
The policy and procedure is published on the Academic Policies & Procedures webpage of the Provost website.
- Should the administrator disseminate their self-assessment, goals, and summary of accomplishments at the start and at the end of the annual review cycle?
At a minimum, administrators should disseminate their materials at the start of the annual review cycle; they may do so again at the end of the annual review cycle if they wish. The only exception is if there have been changes to the materials since the initial dissemination -- in that case the materials should be disseminated again at the end of the cycle.