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Proposal 5-15

The University Senate of Michigan Technological University

Proposal 5-15

(Voting Units: Full Senate)

“Annual Evaluation Procedure for Department Chairs and Academic Deans” 

PDF version of Proposal 5-15

I. Introduction 

The introduction to Senate Procedures 503.1.1 “Evaluation Procedures for the President” reads, in part, as follows:

“Regular evaluation of the President of Michigan Technological University by the faculty and staff encourages open communication, healthy exchange of information, and a shared responsibility for university direction. This procedure allows respondents (all Michigan Tech’s regular non-student employees) to provide input and feedback to the leadership of the university.” (Emphasis added.)

Section II.A.1 of Senate Procedures 504.1.1 “Teaching Effectiveness Evaluations” reads as follows:

The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Faculty development will be responsible for developing and distributing appropriate instruments to allow MTU students to provide meaningful and comprehensive feedback to those charged with instructional duties. Instruments will consist of a series of items pertaining to generally recognized features of quality instructional practices and will also give students the opportunity to provide their written opinions and suggestions for instructional improvement. (Emphasis added.)

A fundamental principal in both sets of procedures is that since feedback and evaluation are important mechanisms by which we improve what we do, we need to provide such feedback annually.  Nevertheless, we do not currently apply this principle to department chairs and academic deans. This proposal attempts to rectify this oversight.

The proposal follows the same philosophy as student evaluation of faculty. The numerical responses to scaled questions will be sent to the appropriate academic dean for department chairs and to the provost for the academic deans. The numerical results and all the comments will be sent to the administrator evaluated. The survey instrument and the constituency completing the survey will closely resemble those that are used in the relevant reappointment procedures. The proposal describes these elements in a procedure with appropriate timing for implementation.

II.  Proposal

The following procedure will be used in the annual evaluation of department chairs and academic deans:

1.  This procedure will be used in the years in which department chairs and academic deans are not being evaluated for reappointment. The procedure is applicable to all department chairs, school deans, college deans, and the dean of the graduate program.

2.  At the beginning of the spring semester, the provost’s office will send a list to the deans and chairs, identifying those who will be evaluated for reappointment and those who will be evaluated by this procedure. A copy of the list will be sent to the Senate’s administrative assistant, who will help to conduct the survey as per Senate procedure 507.1.1.

3.  The constituency completing the survey will be the same as that used for the last reappointment evaluation with the exception that the list will reflect resignation and new hires in the faculty and staff constituencies. College deans and the provost’s office will create electronic lists of e-mail addresses of the constituencies that will be used in the evaluation of the relevant administrators. 

4.  The survey will be conducted during the last week of classes and finals week of the spring semester.

5.  The survey instrument will contain scaled response and windows for comments. The scaled response results for department chairs will be sent to their college dean. The scaled response results for deans will be sent to the provost. All comments and scaled response result will be sent to the evaluated administrator.

6.  The provost, in consultation with the deans and chairs, will establish the use of the survey results. The survey results are confidential, but how the results will be used should be described on the entry page of the survey instrument to reassure the respondents that their investment of time in completing the survey makes a difference.

7.  The survey instrument should closely resemble the one used in the previous reappointment evaluation. However, deans and the provost may change the instrument to reflect new concerns that may have arisen since the reappointment procedure was implemented.

8.  The list of e-mail addresses of the constituencies completing the survey and the survey instruments should be sent to the Senate administrative assistant by end of February so that all the surveys for annual review can be launched on Monday of the last week of spring classes.

9.  The Senate administrative assistant will return the results of the survey by end of May as per the description in step 5 of this procedure.

Introduced to Senate:  10 September 2014
Sent Back to Committee:  24 September 2014
Withdrawn by Proposal Author:  25 September 2014