Senate Review of Deans

Review of Deans, Approved October, 2014                                                      
Reviews of deans of Schools are carried out at intervals of not greater than five years to provide useful feedback to the dean and to the provost. Reviews are carried out by a committee appointed by the provost. The purpose of the review is to provide ongoing constructive assessment of the School’s leadership and to enhance faculty participation in the governance of the School.
The review committee shall consist of nine members. The provost shall appoint four members from a list of at least ten provided by the Faculty Senate. Of the four members appointed in consultation with the Faculty Senate, two shall be from within the school of the dean under review, and two from outside the school. The list provided by the Senate shall approximately adhere to that ratio. In addition, the provost shall appoint five other members chosen at the provost’s discretion from amongst constituencies of the provost’s choosing, with the proviso that at least one of the five shall be a member of the faculty. At least one member of the committee should have expertise in evaluation of quantitative data.
The provost shall designate a chair of the committee, not a faculty member of the school in question. The primary role of the committee is to gather and compile information and advice from faculty and other pertinent constituents, and present and interpret it in a report to the provost. The information shall be gathered, and the report written, in a manner that preserves the anonymity of respondents.
The dean shall be notified in writing of this process and may at her or his discretion prepare a written statement of goals, accomplishments, and  substantive activities in office, or other information the dean deems appropriate.
The dean should have 30 days to prepare the summary statement, which should not exceed five pages. The provost will provide to the committee the dean’s summary statement along with a written charge, and copies of both shall be provided to the faculty of the school in question. The written charge will list all members of the committee and outline the process and schedule to be followed.
In conducting its review, the committee shall solicit broad input, by use of a questionnaire and other means of its choosing, including meetings and interviews, from the dean and from the faculty of the School as well as from other constituents within and outside the university. The questionnaire shall also provide opportunity for narrative responses and advice. The dean’s summary statement shall be provided, as the provost may deem appropriate, to individuals other than faculty who are solicited for information and advice. The survey will be administered by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness as a confidential survey.

Only OIE staff and the committee chair should have access to raw data linking names to the responses. The dean under review should not have access to numerical data or the narrative responses of the online survey, but only the final report submitted to the provost. Faculty should be assured that all responses to the online survey and the interviews are treated confidentially. OIE should send a reminder to individuals who have not completed the survey in a timely manner.
The review shall include, but not be limited to, an assessment of:

  • Leadership, judgment, ethics and commitment to academic and scholarly values
  • Program and faculty development, including appointments of and working with chairs
  • Fairness in treatment of faculty, staff and students
  • Communication
  • Administrative effectiveness
  • Effectiveness in faculty appointments, retention and recruitment, including advancing diversity
  • Developing internal and external resources
  • Contributing to the advancement of university-wide goals
  • Building constructive relations with external constituencies, including alumni

A 2016 working group developed a common core of questions to be used in review surveys. Please find the group's recommendations in the Senate files.
The committee should add to the core questions further questions relevant to the specific school. Survey questions should include a Not Applicable or No Opinion answer option.
In addition to distributing the questionnaire to the faculty , the committee should solicit input via the questionnaire or other methods from relevant other constituencies, such as the Office of Sponsored Research or the Office of Graduate Studies. The provost may provide guidance to the committee as to constituencies to be consulted in addition to faculty and as to the means of consultation.

The chair of the committee should meet with the dean to learn of issues and accomplishments that are confidential and cannot be included in the dean’s public statement. The chair should also meet as appropriate with other persons concerning issues involving confidentiality. The review committee should be provided administrative support by the Provost’s office for handling paper, scheduling, email, etc. This will reduce faculty workload and provide continuity of process.
The survey should be closed November 15. The preliminary analysis of the data should be done by Office of Institutional Effectiveness. This should be on their calendar and part of their expected workload every year
The review committee shall submit a written report to the provost. The report shall (1) describe briefly its procedures; (2) discuss important issues identified; and (3) present any conclusions and advice formulated. The report shall also include compiled results of the questionnaire and the narrative responses.
The report should be delivered to the provost by February 1. The dean should be clearly informed that the committee report to the provost is not available to the dean until it is provided by the provost. The committee chair, and the committee as appropriate, should be available to meet with the dean after the dean meets with the provost.
After meeting with the committee to review the report, the provost shall provide a copy to the dean (including the tabulated results and narrative responses) and discuss the findings and advice with the dean. The provost shall report to the Faculty Senate any actions resulting from the review and announce any actions resulting from the review. In addition, the committee shall report to the Faculty Senate its process –including such information as numbers of individuals queried or questionnaires and letters received, and the date of submission of its final report. The substance of the report shall, however, remain confidential.

Normal Time Line:
June 1 Recommendations of committee members by the Senate to the Provost
The committee should be appointed and begin the review process by Sept 1 of the fourth year of the dean’s term, if the dean’s appointment began July 1. In other cases, this timeline should be adjusted.
July 1 Committee selected, chair informed of committee.
Dean is informed about deadline for their statement and other aspects of the process
September 1 Committee begins construction of survey
Oct 1 Dean’s statement to the Provost and Committee Oct 15 Survey begins
Nov 15 Survey closed
Nov 15– Jan 30 Analysis of survey, interviews of relevant parties, report written
Feb 1 Committee Report to the Provost
April 1 Provost reports actions to the Senate