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Policy: Appointment, Annual Evaluation and Reappointment of Academic Deans 

Date: 11/01/12 Policy ID: PROV-023 Status: Final

Policy Type: Executive Vice President & Provost
Contact Office: Executive Vice President and Provost (Office of the)
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Provost
Applies To: Academic Division.
Table of Contents:  Policy Statement
  1. Tenured Appointment and Holding an Endowed Chair
  2. Search for an Academic Dean
  3. Annual Performance Review of an Academic Dean
  4. Reappointment Review
  5. Composition of the Review Committee
  6. Responsibilities of the Review Committee
  7. Reappointment of an Academic Dean
  8. Non-Reappointment of an Academic Dean
  9. Suspension or Termination of an Academic Dean
Reason for Policy: 

The University’s committed to appointing individuals with outstanding leadership qualities to manage the activities of its schools.  This policy sets forth the requirements for the appointment, annual evaluation and reappointment of academic deans.

Policy Summary: 
Definition of Terms in Statement: 

Academic Dean (dean): The chief administrator of an academic school at the University and the University Librarian.

Policy Statement: 

An academic dean is expected to exhibit leadership qualities based on high
standards of academic achievement, experience, and ability to work with people both within and outside the University community. The dean’s responsibilities for and on behalf of the University may also be stated in the appointment letter, applicable Board of Visitors policies, and as directed by the president or the Executive Vice President and Provost (provost).

The Executive Vice President and Provost of the University is responsible for appointing, evaluating, and reappointing an academic dean. The dean normally serves for a five-year term and may be reappointed, typically for one additional five-year term.

  1. Tenured Appointment and Holding an Endowed Chair:
    A dean in one of the University’s schools offering tenure may be elected to a tenured appointment on the faculty based on appropriate credentials and experience. The dean may hold an endowed chair per the policy on Appointment of Endowed and Eminent Scholars Chairs. Such an appointment is subject to the approval of the Board of Visitors.

  2. Search for an Academic Dean:
    A search committee will be established for the hiring of an academic dean.  The search committee for an academic dean consists primarily of faculty members (normally faculty members of the school involved) and may include students, staff, and alumni. The search committee will solicit input from faculty, staff, and students and consider their views when making its recommendations to the executive vice president and provost. The composition of the search committee will be determined by the provost.

  3. Annual Performance Review of an Academic Dean:
    The provost will meet with each academic dean annually to review performance.

Once a year, generally in the spring, the dean will provide an annual written report to the provost that (a) reviews goals for the preceding year and progress toward those goals, including any necessary information concerning unforeseen opportunities or challenges, and (b) lists proposed goals for the upcoming year that reflect both school and institutional-wide goals.

The report will serve as the basis for an annual performance meeting between the provost and the dean. The purpose of this meeting is to have constructive dialogue about the report, develop and/or review a leadership plan (if needed), and to assure that the future goals are consistent with the priorities for the school, and aligned with the priorities of the other schools and the university, as appropriate. Annual feedback will be provided by the provost.

  1. Reappointment Review:
    A reappointment review of a dean shall be conducted by a committee appointed by the provost. The committee will receive a charge from the provost and will provide a written report to the provost upon completion of the review. The dean will normally be reviewed in the second half of his/her fourth year of the appointment, unless the dean indicates he/she does not wish to be considered for another term. The review report should be completed no later than nine months prior to the end of the term.

Upon receipt of the report, the provost, in consultation with the president, will either reappoint the dean or notify the dean of non-reappointment and initiate a search for a new dean.

  1. Composition of the Review Committee:
    The committee will be chaired by a tenured full professor in the school. The committee will be comprised of faculty from the school, and may include faculty from other school(s) at the university, students, alumni, staff, and administrators (vice provost, vice president, or a dean from another school), and a representative from the school’s foundation board, if applicable. The provost will solicit input from the dean as to the membership of the committee, with the final decision regarding the composition of the committee resting with the provost. Evaluation of a dean is a confidential process and the committee is expected to maintain confidentiality in all aspects of its work.

  2. Responsibilities of the Review Committee:
    The committee will meet with and receive its charge from the provost.

The committee will provide an opportunity for the dean to submit a written self-study that provides information about the responsibilities of the position, accomplishments and challenges encountered during his/her tenure as dean, and goals for the future.  After receipt of this self-study, the committee will meet with the dean.

Following the meetings with the provost and dean, the committee will examine the previously established position statement. If the committee feels that the position statement is not accurate, then the committee should prepare a modified statement and bring it back for discussion with the provost.

The committee will invite confidential comments in writing from all faculty members in the relevant unit(s). The letters are to be available only to committee members and the provost, and will become part of the confidential permanent review file following the completion of the review.

The committee will conduct interviews (individually, in small groups, or as a full committee) with those who have worked with the dean. The interviews should include faculty, students, staff, and other constituencies, as appropriate.

The committee will prepare a written report, addressing the strengths and weaknesses of the dean, identifying areas of accomplishment as well as providing insights into areas of responsibility where the dean can improve. The report is not to make a specific recommendation regarding reappointment.

Following submission of the report, the provost and president will meet with the review committee to discuss the evaluation.

  1. Reappointment of an Academic Dean:
    The provost, in consultation with the president, will determine whether to reappoint the dean or initiate a search for a new dean. If the decision is made to reappoint the dean, the reappointment must also be ratified by the Board of Visitors through the docket procedure. In the event of reappointment, a new appointment letter will be issued.

The provost will meet with the dean, discuss the report, inform the dean of the outcome of the review, and, if necessary, develop a leadership plan for moving forward if reappointment is recommended.

The University makes no guarantee of reappointment and the procedures and standards governing reappointment review are subject to the discretion and judgment of the president, as well as applicable policies of the University.

  1. Non-Reappointment of an Academic Dean:
    A dean who is not reappointed at the discretion of the provost should be notified by the date specified in the appointment letter. If no date is specified in the appointment letter, the dean should receive at least sixty (60) days’ notice of non-reappointment prior to the termination of the administrative appointment. Regardless of when notice is received, the dean is entitled to sixty (60) days of compensation for the administrative position following that notice.

  2. Suspension or Termination of an Academic Dean:
    The provost may choose to suspend or end the dean’s administrative appointment at any time with cause should the dean fail to provide necessary leadership, or achieve the goals or fulfill the responsibilities specified in the appointment letter, or otherwise violate applicable policies of the University. In the event of such suspension or termination, the provost shall provide the dean with written notice of such failure. The dean shall be given up to 7 calendar days to respond after receipt of the notice, either in writing or by meeting with the provost. 

Suspension or removal for cause may result in the dean’s administrative salary being terminated at the end of his/her administrative appointment. Such suspension or removal shall not affect the terms of the dean’s academic appointment except as in accordance with the Policy on Disciplinary Suspension or Termination of Academic Faculty.

Related Information: 

Appointment of Endowed and Eminent Scholars Chairs
Disciplinary Suspension or Termination of Academic Faculty
Employment of Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Policy Background: 
Major Category: Executive Vice President & Provost Policies
Category Cross Reference: 
Next Scheduled Review: 11/01/15
Approved By, Date: Executive Vice President and Provost, 11/01/12
Revision History: This is the first version of this policy.
Supersedes (previous policy):