Administrator Review Principles

Best Practices/ Principles for Application in Reviews of Dean, Chairperson and Directors

  • Administrator review procedures are a Shared Responsibility of the academic unit faculty and the responsible administrator. Recommended models of review procedures are available. Procedure changes from available models should be advanced only for essential reasons.
     
  • Performance expectations for the administrator under reviews should be stated clearly in advance of the review and be shared with all those participating in the review. (Such expectations may be simply the expectations embedded in the description of Deans, Chairs and Directors in sections 2.1.2.1 and 2.1.2.2 of the Bylaws for Academic Governance or as supplemented by more specific performance expectations).
     
  • The administrator under review should be encouraged to use the opportunity wisely to share past achievements and a vision for the future of the academic unit with evaluators.
     
  • Recall Deans, Chairs and Directors do NOT serve fixed terms but are reviewed at intervals not to exceed five years. While changes in administrative assignments can occur as a result of reviews, most reviews focus on administrator achievements and limitations to support performance improvement and professional development in a continuous administrative assignment.
     
  • All review participants should be apprised of the relevant review criteria and procedures. Such should be shared as part of the general dissemination of details of the review process.
     
  • One individual or body (usually the Chair of the College, Department of School Advisory Council) should be responsible for disseminating information within the academic unit about review procedures including criteria and timing.
     
  • If a substantial number of faculty, staff, stakeholders and students do not participate in the review, as specified by the procedure, members of a representative body (usually the academic unit advisory council) should play a role. Faculty, staff and students, in general, should be able to communicate views via a survey1or in writing. Other participants may be added as part of the process to ensure representation of key perspectives by mutual agreement of the responsible administrator and unit faculty. Such reviewers may be from the unit, the University and the wider community.

    1For the review of Deans, the Office of the Provost contracts with the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research to administer a survey and provide results to the College Advisory Council.
     
  • The administrator under review and the academic unit representative body (usually the Advisory Council) should each have the right to select a small number of individuals either inside or outside the unit to provide commentary as part of the review.
     
  • Commentary from individuals should be based systematically only on the agreed and formally stated review criteria using a common information gathering format.
     
  • While summary reports regarding the review outcomes may be shared broadly with the faculty, staff, and students, individual commentary should remain confidential both on the part of reviewers and those administering the review.
     
  • The report to the responsible administrator prepared by the advisory body and if relevant, by an administrators group, should focus on the review criteria, the strengths and the areas of needed improvement for the administrator under review. Optionally, a recommendation regarding continuation or not in the administrative assignment may be included by either body.
     
  • The review should have a specified timetable which should be adhered to. The responsible administrator should communicate the outcomes of the reviews in a timely fashion.


Academic Human Resources
Office of the Provost
Michigan State University
November, 2008