EVALUATION PROCEDURES FOR DEPARTMENT CHAIRS AND
Senate Procedures 506.1.1
This is the common procedure for the evaluation of the department chairs and the school deans. The school deans report to the provost and department chairs report to the college dean. Throughout this document the following terminology is used.
Department chair/school dean and college dean/provost: pairing of the department chair with the college dean and the school dean with the provost
Academic unit or just unit: a department or a school
Review committee: unit review committee
II. Frequency of Review
The term of appointment for a department chair/school dean is three years. A reappointment review will take place in the third year of each term of appointment, and will be initiated within the first seven weeks of the fall semester. The evaluation process may also be initiated by the college dean/provost or by the entire unit constituency (by a simple majority vote) at any time earlier, but not more than once per calendar year. Evaluations may be initiated by faculty during the first year only by a two-thirds majority vote.
At any point in the evaluation process, the department chair/school dean may decide not to seek reappointment. In this case, the review process ends and all material related to the review process will be destroyed by the review committee.
III. Constituency and Unit Review Committee
The unit charter shall specify the unit constituency and who is eligible to participate in the evaluation process and vote, as well as the structure and selection of the committee for the review of their department chair/school dean. The unit charter shall define if the survey and ballot will be done for the entire unit constituency as a whole, or separately for faculty and staff. The committee will not include the current department chair/school dean or any faculty or staff member who has a conflict of interest regarding the current department chair/school dean’s review. The college dean/provost will resolve any conflict of interest situation if it is raised with respect to any individual’s eligibility to serve as a member of the review committee.
The committee also includes a member from outside the unit appointed by the college dean/provost. This external committee member only functions as an observer who ensures the integrity of the review process. The external member also acts as a liaison to the college dean/provost.
The review committee is charged with following senate procedures 506.1.1 (this procedure)
507.1.1 to conduct and complete an evaluation of the department chair/ school dean. The voting process shall follow the unit charter and senate procedures. In case of inconsistency, the intent of the senate procedure takes precedence.
The entire university community recognizes the effort that service on a review committee requires. It is important that everyone involved with the process be vigilant in maintaining collegiality and professionalism. It is also important that the confidential nature of the process be respected in order to protect the unit constituency, the review committee, and the individual under review. The review of a chair or dean is an important task, and the strength and integrity of the institution depends upon it being conducted in a way that encourages continual improvement of the university as a whole.
Any question related to the implementation or interpretation of this procedure should be directed to the college dean/provost through the chair of the committee.
IV. Review Process Initiation
The college dean/provost will ask the department chair/school dean to establish the committee as per the unit charter; the committee should be established within two weeks of the dean's/provost's request. The college dean/provost will appoint a member from outside the unit to serve on the committee. The college dean/provost will also ask the department chair/school dean to write her/his self-evaluation report (Section V. Department Chair/School Dean's Self-Evaluation) and provide it to the college dean/provost within two weeks.
V. Department Chair/School Dean's Self-Evaluation
The department chair/school dean should prepare a written document evaluating his/her performance for the period of evaluation. This document should include but need not be limited to:
- addressing each of the charges given at the time of his/her appointment
- achieving of the unit’s goals for the period of review
- budgeting and its management
- growth and quality of academic programs
- future needs and directions of the unit
- any issue that the department chair/school dean thinks is controversial in the unit and the effort he/she made to address the controversy
The department chair/school dean is encouraged to provide comparative quantitative data in this report where relevant.
VI. First Meeting of the Unit Review Committee
The college dean/provost shall call the first meeting of the committee and review its charge, the procedures it should operate under, and the deadlines it should meet. A suggested timetable for the review committee’s activities is provided as Appendix A. The college dean/provost will give the following documents to the review committee.
- redacted copy of the letter of appointment describing the charge given to the department chair/school dean
- electronic copy of the self-evaluation report of the department chair/school dean
- results of the previous evaluation if the department chair/school dean is seeking another term
- a set of survey questions that is common to all units in the university
The review committee shall decide if additional material is needed (for example, comparative data from institutional analysis) and seek to procure such material.
The review committee shall elect its chair, establish its structure and inform the college dean/provost and the entire unit constituency of this structure; as well as the purpose and membership of the review committee.
The department chair/school dean will provide her/his self-evaluation to the review committee. This self-evaluation will be forwarded, in an electronic form, by the review committee to the entire unit constituency.
The distribution of this report will be followed by a meeting of the unit constituency. The purpose of this meeting will be for the department chair/school dean to respond to questions and provide clarification about the report.
VII. Survey Instrument
The survey instrument will have the following components.
- a set of questions provided by the college dean/provost in an electronic file
- a set of question that the review committee chooses
The survey instrument should address (but not be limited to) the following, in order to assist the dean/provost in responding to the specific questions required by the senate
- guidance and management of the quality and growth of the academic programs within the unit
- guidance and support of research activities within the unit
- practice of sound financial management within the unit
- management and guidance of personnel within the unit, including professional growth and retention
- definition of goals within the unit and progress of the unit toward these established goals
Additional survey questions that have been used in the past by various units can be a useful guide and are found here: https://www.mtu.edu/senate/evaluations/forms/
If required by the unit charter for the tabulation of survey results and the conduct of the ballot to be done separately for the faculty and staff in the unit constituency, then two instruments are required. These two instruments may be different depending on separate decisions of the faculty or staff (VIII. Unit Constituency Input).
c. up to two questions that the department chair/school dean may provide if he/she so chooses
d. insertion of two boxes for the free written comments; one that can be seen by everyone in the unit including the unit’s chair/dean and their immediate supervisor (the college dean for department chairs and the provost for school deans), and one that can only be viewed by the unit’s chair’s/dean’s immediate supervisor. Associated with each box there will be a compulsory question asking the constituents to individually select if they want their comments to summarized by the review committee in the report or produced verbatim.
VIII. Unit Constituency Input
The department chair/school dean’s self-evaluation report, the redacted letter of appointment describing the charge, and the survey instrument should be made available electronically to the entire unit constituency. This should be followed with meeting of the unit constituency without the department chair/school dean present. At the meeting the past evaluation results may also be shown. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss, change, and approve the survey instrument.
If required by the unit charter that survey results and ballots be tabulated separately for faculty and staff, then faculty and staff in the unit constituency will meet separately to discuss their respective survey instruments.
In all cases, the survey results, including comments, must be treated with confidentiality in mind, and viewed and discussed only by people authorized in this procedure.
IX. Conduct of Survey
Senate Procedures 507.1.1 pertain to the conduct of the survey. Senate Procedures 507.1.1 govern the conduct of the survey. It is the responsibility of the chair and the external member of the review committee to maintain security of these files and the information that they contains.
X. Survey Report
The review committee will prepare a survey report that includes:
- tabulated results of the survey
- the survey comments in the manner elected by the individual constituents
- summary statements of the major accomplishments over the period of evaluation and areas for improvement of the department chair/school dean.
XI. Department Chair/School Dean’s Response
The review committee will give the department chair/school dean the survey report, except for the part that contains the written comments that are intended only for their immediate supervisors (Section X. Survey Report). The review committee will provide the department chair/school dean the option of responding to the report before it is presented to the unit constituency. The department chair/school dean has five working days to provide a written response to the report of the review committee.
The survey report will be augmented with the department chair/school dean’s response (if a response is supplied; these two documents along with the chair's/dean's self-evaluation report will from here on be called the “unit evaluation report”.
If the college dean/provost informs the review committee that the department chair/school dean has decided not to seek reappointment then all review material will be destroyed by the review committee. The college dean/provost will dissolve the review committee. The college dean/provost will inform the unit constituency about the department chair/school dean's decision at the time of dissolution of the review committee.
XII. Presentation of Unit Evaluation Report
The review committee will arrange a closed meeting at which they will circulate the unit evaluation report. Copies of the unit evaluation report will not be taken outside the meeting room. All the circulated copies of the unit evaluation report will be destroyed after the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is the presentation of unit evaluation report, and not for additional discussion of the department chair/school dean's performance.
For the period of review, the review committee will ensure two copies of the unit evaluation report are available for viewing by the unit constituency at two secure sites where no copies can be made, as unauthorized copying compromise the integrity of the process. One site will be situated in the office of the college dean/provost. The other site will be situated in the unit.
The final ballot goes to the constituency identified in the unit charter; the Senate Administrative Assistant (SAA), on request from the chair of the review committee, conducts the actual online process for balloting through the procedure outlined in 507.1.1.
(Name of department chair/school dean) should be reappointed and continue as the department
chair/school dean of the unit.
Yes _____________________ No ___________________ Abstain_________________
The SAA will return the results of the balloting (two sets of ballots faculty and staff vote separately), to the chair and the external member of the review committee. The review committee chair will inform the SAA of the receipt of the results of the ballot and ask the SAA to delete all the voting results in the senate office. The department chair/school dean (first) and the unit constituency (second) will be informed of the ballot results by the review committee.
XIV. Unit Evaluation Report to the College Dean/Provost
A file containing a copy the unit evaluation report and the results of the ballot will be forwarded to the college dean/provost. Upon receipt of this file, the college dean/provost, will notify the review committee to destroy any remaining copies of the unit evaluation report and any other material related to the review process.
The review committee will write a memo to the senate president and the college dean/provost with the recommendations for changes in the evaluation procedure (if any) to support continuous improvement of the process.
XV. Final Report by the College Dean/Provost
The college dean/provost must prepare a written final report of the evaluation of the department chair/school dean, including but not limited to the following areas:
- guidance and management of the quality and growth of the academic programs within the unit.
- guidance and support of research activities within the unit
- practice of sound financial management within the unit
- management and guidance of personnel within the unit
- definition of goals within the department and progress of the unit toward these established goals.
- a confidential appendix is allowed that is not shared with the unit in cases where the college dean/provost feels the need to formally document progress, problems or advice with only the department chair/school dean. This appendix is included with the final report and forwarded through the administrative structure to the President.
The college dean/provost will meet with the department chair/school dean to discuss the final report of the evaluation, ballot results, and the reappointment recommendation.
XVI. Implementation of the Results
The college dean/provost will forward the final report and her/his recommendation through the administrative structure to the university president.
If the unit constituency of either faculty or staff (or both combined, if a single ballot was conducted for the entire unit constituency), by a two-thirds majority votes against the reappointment of the department chair/school dean, the administration will normally honor the decision of the unit.
When the administration decides to reappoint a department chair/school dean contrary to the majority vote of the unit constituency of either faculty or staff (or both combined, if a single ballot was conducted for the entire unit constituency), the college dean/provost will provide written explanation of the reasons for that decision to the members of the academic unit.
At a meeting with the unit, the college dean/provost shall present the administration’s decision and discuss the contents of the final report. The department chair/school dean will not be present at this meeting. The final report of the evaluation, not including the confidential appendix, by the college dean/provost will be shared with the unit and forms the basis for the discussion in the meeting.
XVII. Closure and Storage of Evaluation Material
All evaluation material will be kept in the office of the college dean/provost, and will be supplied to the next review committee (Section VI. the First Meeting of the Unit Review Committee). All evaluation material, except that required by the office of human resources, will be destroyed once the department chair/school dean leaves the position.
XVIII: Sample Timeline of the Review Process
The timeline below is suggestive and not prescriptive. It is possible to reduce the total time for the review process by doing some activities simultaneously. It is recommended that the review committee establish its own timeline for conducting the review in a timely manner. The evaluation process should be done with expediency - the recommended timeline is as follows:
Weeks 1 & 2: The college dean/provost requests the department chair/school dean to form the review committee and write the self-evaluation report. (Section IV. Review Process Initiation, and Section V. Department Chair/School Dean's Self-Evaluation)
Week 3: The college dean/provost appoints the external member of the review committee, calls the first meeting of the review committee, defines the charge, and provides the review committee with all relevant documents. The review committee elects a chair, decides and informs the college dean/provost and the unit constituency on the review committee’s structure, purpose and membership. (Section VI. First Meeting of the Unit Review Committee)
Week 4: The review committee develops survey instrument(s) for the constituency. (Section VII. Survey Instrument)
Week 5: The unit constituency approves the survey instrument(s). (Section VIII. Unit Constituency Input)
Weeks 6-7: The review committee sends the survey instrument(s) and list of email addresses to the SAA who conducts the survey and return the results. (Section IX. Conduct of Survey, and Senate Procedure 507.1.1)
Week 8: The review committee writes the survey report. (Section X. Survey Report)
Week 9: The review committee sends the survey report to the department chair/school dean and solicits her/his response. The review committee compiles the unit evaluation report. (Section XI. Department Chair/School Dean’s Response)
Week 10: The review committee calls a meeting of the unit constituency for the presentation of the unit evaluation report and to establish a secure site where the unit constituency can view the report. (Section XII. Presentation of Unit Evaluation Report)
Week 11: Ballot for the reappointment is conducted (Section XIII. Balloting and Senate Procedure 507.1.1)
Week 12: The review committee sends the unit evaluation report and the ballot results to the college dean/provost. The college dean/provost informs the review committee of the receipt of unit evaluation report and ballot results. The review committee destroys all evaluation related material. (Sections XIV. Unit Evaluation Report to the College Dean/Provost)
Week 13: The college dean/provost writes the final report and meets with the department chair/school dean to discuss the final report and the recommendation for the reappointment. (Section XV. Final Report by the College Dean/Provost)
Week 14: The college dean/provost calls the unit constituency meeting to discuss the final report and the decision of the administration on the reappointment. (XVI. Implementation of the Results)
Adopted as Amended by Senate: 29 September 1993
Approved by President: 15 February 1994
Approved by Board of Control: 18 March 1994
Introduced to Senate: 10 November 2010
Revised and reintroduced: 23 November 2010
Senate Returned to Committee: 08 December 2010
Revised and reintroduced to Senate: 19 January 2011
Edited (in red) at Senate Meeting: 19 January 2011
Editorial changes (highlighted in blue): 2 February 2011
Adopted by Senate: 02 February 2011
Amended by Administration (in green): 11 March 2011
Amendments Adopted by Senate: 23 March 2011
Introduced to Senate: 04 November 2015
Revised and reintroduced to Senate: 18 November 2015
Amended at Senate Meeting: 09 December 2015
Amended at Senate Meeting: 20 January 2016
Amended at Senate Meeting: 03 February 2016
Approved by Senate: 17 February 2016
Editorial changes provided by Provost (in blue): 07 April 2016
Senate Approved editorial changes: 20 April 2016
Approved by Administration with Editorial Changes: 20 April 2016
Introduced to Senate: 19 October 2016
Approved by Senate: 02 November 2016
Approved by Administration Pending Editorial Changes (in blue): 20 January 2017
Senate Approved Editorial Changes: 01 February 2017