Printed on: 02/15/2019. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

Reviewing and Evaluating Deans

Administrative Procedure


The University is committed to fostering the success of its deans and enhancing their effectiveness in a constructive way. Performance appraisals are a means to support this commitment and are the responsibility of the appropriate responsible administrator. Administrative Policy: Performance Management for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees mandates assessment of administrators, including deans, in a relatively uniform fashion. Responsible administrators will be held accountable for conducting and budgeting for appropriate performance appraisals.

The following review procedures are applicable specifically to the review of deans. The process accomplishes the following:

  • Supports both developmental and evaluative outcomes;
  • Supports the broad goals of leadership excellence and managerial accountability; and
  • Allows for efficient use of resources.

The review and evaluation of deans includes both an evaluative and developmental component. The evaluative review incorporates use of a standardized web-based survey comprised of a common core of items. The developmental review is a 360-degree web-based process with follow-up coaching.


The following performance criteria have been identified as central to positions of leadership at the University. These core criteria have been organized into four leadership competencies for deans and are incorporated into the standard survey instrument designed to support the three-year evaluation for deans. It is recommended that the responsible administrator share this set of core performance criteria and the leadership competencies during the interview and subsequent hiring process for new deans, and during subsequent annual performance discussions.


Shapes Strategic Focus

Formulates effective and progressive strategies aligned with University mission and values; determines objectives and priorities and acts as a catalyst for institutional innovation and growth.

  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of the college/school's strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
  • Scans the environment to plan strategic approaches and develop solutions for the college/school.
  • Encourages evidence-based decisions that are aligned with strategic priorities.
  • Engages staff and stakeholders in visioning process.
  • Creates and communicates a clear vision of the college/school's future.

Demonstrates Decanal Leadership

Displays expertise within discipline resulting in academic credibility and sound intellectual leadership; exhibits understanding of the particular leadership needs of the college/school; interfaces with internal and external experts and stakeholders to become familiar with and act on issues important to the college/school.

  • Creates a culture in which breakthrough ideas are generated and then champions mission-critical initiatives.
  • Demonstrates scholarly credentials through teaching or publishing or interfacing with the profession.
  • Advances the reputation of the college/school both inside and outside of the University.
  • Assembles a multicultural faculty and student talent pool.

Demonstrates Financial Acumen

Understands the meaning and implications of key financial indicators; manages overall financial performance; uses financial analysis to evaluate strategic options and opportunities.

  • Understands and effectively manages the college/school budget.
  • Measures the performance of the college/school through the use of key financial and non-financial indicators.
  • Creates open and transparent financial processes.


Ensures Execution

Anticipates change, conveys clear priorities, and aligns efforts across functions; addresses barriers, takes action, and holds self and others accountable for results.

  • Ensures that others have the resources, information, authority, and support needed to achieve strategic objectives.
  • Takes action, even when risk is great, and balances tradeoffs appropriately.
  • Balances the achievement of day-to-day results with the accomplishment of key initiatives.
  • Anticipates and then addresses the impact of large scale changes on morale and productivity.
  • Holds self accountable and ensures accountability in others for achieving results.

Manages HR Systems

Builds a team (faculty, administrators, graduate students, and staff) that addresses the short-term and long-term goals of the college/school; supports the development of high-achieving faculty and staff; ensures that unproductive performance issues are addressed.

  • Effectively identifies, attracts, and hires faculty/staff.
  • Promotes the engagement, development, and equitable treatment of people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ensures adoption of applicable best practices for the management of the college/school’s human resources.
  • Creates a climate in which faculty and staff are encouraged to develop and continuously learn.
  • Provides insightful, motivating, and constructive feedback, coaching, and guidance.


Communicates Openly and Listens

Presents ideas effectively gauging the needs of the audience; actively listens and incorporates input from others.

  • Fosters an environment of open, honest, and respectful discussion of all issues.
  • Communicates effectively to internal and external audiences by tailoring message, style, and content.
  • Creates an environment that ensures others have appropriate access to information which may be useful to them.
  • Listens attentively and with empathy to concerns expressed by others.

Influences and Inspires

Promotes ideas and proposals persuasively shaping stakeholder opinion; creates a climate that fosters personal investment and nurtures commitment to a common vision and shared values; inspires action without relying solely on authority.

  • Establishes credibility by demonstrating broad knowledge, good judgment, and deep expertise.
  • Positions ideas and proposals to address the needs, interests, and concerns of stakeholders.
  • Promotes positions and ideas with conviction, even when faced with resistance.
  • Generates energy and enthusiasm in others by appealing to their personal values and goals.
  • Motivates and challenges others to define new opportunities and continuously improve the college/school.
  • Celebrates and recognizes the significant achievements of others.

Builds Relationships and Fosters Collaboration

Cultivates an active network of relationships inside and outside functional area; fosters collaboration and teamwork by being inclusive, supportive, cooperative, and sharing power.

  • Effectively cultivates and manages key constituent relationships.
  • Connects people from across collegiate, cultural, institutional, and global boundaries to accomplish goals.
  • Creates an engaging, collaborative work environment by bringing diverse people and ideas together.
  • Works toward achieving consensus among multiple stakeholders.


Establishes Trust

Respects all individuals and treats them fairly; honors commitments to others; models high ethical standards and integrity.

  • Establishes an environment in which integrity and ethics is the norm.
  • Delivers on commitments.
  • Treats others fairly and respectfully.
  • Displays openness to new ideas and alternative approaches.
  • Demonstrates the courage to do what is right despite personal risk or discomfort.
  • Projects a credible, positive image in public.

Demonstrates Emotional Acuity

Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of others; understands impact of own behavior; has a realistic understanding of own strengths and development needs; is committed to continuous learning.

  • Exhibits an awareness of one’s own capabilities and development needs.
  • Recognizes the feelings of others and exhibits an appropriate level of composure, patience, and diplomacy.
  • Trusts the judgment of others, giving them latitude to exercise authority in their own areas of expertise.
  • Demonstrates flexibility and comfort with ambiguity.

Additional Criteria

  • As identified by the responsible administrator in consultation with the dean being reviewed.


All persons from whom evaluations are solicited should be informed that while their X500 identification is necessary to validate they are invited to take the survey, their identity and responses will be kept completely confidential.

The University will not consider individual letters of evaluation submitted anonymously by indirect reports or external reviewers.

If any information is received relative to allegations of serious misconduct or illegal action, whether the source is identified or not, the responsible administrator is charged with determining what, if any, investigation is appropriate.

Deans being reviewed will be held to the strictest standards of professional and ethical behavior and are not to retaliate against any person who has participated in the review process. Retaliation includes taking an adverse action against an individual, whether faculty, staff, or student, because of the individual's good faith participation in the review process. Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to: harassment, impeding academic advancement, departing from any customary academic or employment practice regarding the individual, and termination of position, demotion, threats, and marginalization of the individual. A causal relationship between the participation in the review process and an adverse action is needed to demonstrate the retaliation has occurred. Responsible administrators should bring this expectation to the attention of the dean being reviewed.

Response verification. Because the survey given to University respondents is web-based, the X.500 numbers of survey recipients are provided to the Office of Measurement Services (OMS) ,which then delivers the survey to the selected participants. OMS will verify that survey responses received are from authorized reviewers by matching the X.500 number of the respondent with the list of those invited to participate.

Respondents are not required to have their survey responses identified beyond the match as an authorized respondent. Once the data is aggregated and summarized, any linkages between the X.500 and the individual survey will be destroyed.

Student reviewers, are not required to have their survey responses identified beyond the match as an authorized respondent. Once the data is aggregated and summarized, any linkages between the X.500 and the individual survey will be destroyed.

External reviewers, such as alumni, advisory board members, donors, legislators and community individuals, are surveyed through a separate questionnaire that is not web-based, and must have evaluative comments attributed.


The Three-Year Evaluation is broad in scope and dimension. Three appraisal elements contribute to this evaluation:

  1. annual reviews that have occurred since the last multiple-source or three-year evaluation;
  2. the responsible administrator's personal observations and gathering of feedback over time; and
  3. results of a standardized survey in which assessment information is solicited from multiple reviewers internal to the University, along with assessment comments from external reviewers.

The three year evaluation provides a reliable and valid overall view of the dean's performance including accomplishments, expertise, professional growth, and both a general and specific assessment of effectiveness in carrying out the responsibilities of the position.

Multiple-Source Assessment

A. Purpose

The purpose of this multiple-source assessment is three-fold:

  1. to provide evaluation feedback from a wide spectrum of people, both internal and external to the University community, who are affected by the individual’s performance;
  2. to inform decisions regarding future work plans, as well as decisions of reappointment; and
  3. to develop group norms over time, and in so doing gain a better understanding of areas where focused development efforts are needed.
B. Methodology

Assessment data will be sought from both internal to the University faculty, staff and administrators and external constituents.

  1. For internal to the University reviewers, a standardized web-based survey will be used. Questions included in the survey address performance criteria under the four leadership competencies for deans (strategic leadership, results leadership, people leadership, and personal leadership).
    A small set of three to five open-ended questions addressing additional criteria specific to the dean being reviewed may be developed and added to the standardized survey.
  2. For external to the University reviewers, evaluative comment will be requested through a letter. The letter includes a short series of standardized open-ended questions with the addition of up to three additional questions relevant to the external reviewers' knowledge of the work of the dean being reviewed.
C. Initiation of the Review

The responsible administrator will inform the dean to be reviewed that a Three-Year Evaluation is being initiated. The responsible administrator will schedule a meeting with the dean and is expected to cover the following discussion points:

  • Communications planned around the review, including announcement of the review and how and to whom the results of the review will be shared;
  • The intent of the review to include:
    • Identifying performance strengths as well as areas of concern; and
    • Noting that the multiple-source assessment is one important element of several used in making a reappointment decision.
  • The four leadership competencies on which the dean will be reviewed within the multiple-source assessment, as well as any additional criteria to be evaluated;
  • A request for the dean’s assistance in identifying potential reviewers, both inside and outside the University:
    • Reviewers within the University but not within the college, student leaders, and people external to the University from whom assessment information should be requested, and/or
    • Individuals who may be helpful in identifying other potential reviewers,
  • An outline of the process and projected timelines;
  • An opportunity for the dean to discuss any specific circumstance that might prove important in which insight into the context of the situation may be helpful and should be taken into account throughout the review process; may include factors potentially viewed as problematic.
  • A Performance Background Statement, which will be distributed to the members of the review committee, will be requested from the dean. This statement should include the following:
    • Job description and current responsibilities;
    • Administrative philosophy;
    • Priorities over the time period since the dean’s last multiple-source review;
    • Major activities and significant contributions since the dean's last multiple-source review;
    • Current top issues;
    • Statement addressing what has been supportive in getting the job done and what has impeded the dean's ability to do so; and
    • Future plans/goals;
  • The right of the dean to review the official Three-Year Evaluation file following the conclusion of the review, and to submit written information to the official Three-Year Evaluation file to supplement or refute materials contained therein;
  • A reminder to the dean that they will be held to the strictest standards of professional and ethical behavior and to not retaliate against any person who has participated in the review process, retaliation including any form of intimidation or harassment; and
  • An opportunity for the dean to ask questions and raise further points of discussion.
D. Multiple-Source Assessment Process

The Office of Human Resources will work with the Office of Measurement Services (OMS) to establish the time frame for delivery of the web based survey. The web-based survey will be delivered to participants internal to the University by OMS. The Office of Human Resources, on behalf of the responsible administrator, will send letters requesting evaluative comment from external reviewers, who will return their comments to the Office of Human Resources. The Office of Human Resources will compile the responses by question, and provide the unattributed compilation to OMS for inclusion in the report for the standing review committee and the responsible administrator.

This multiple-source assessment is to be conducted following three-year intervals as one part of the Three-Year Evaluation. The timing of the review is critical to its effectiveness. The survey often involves assessment information from faculty, and therefore in most cases should not be initiated during the months of April through August, due to generally poor response rates from faculty at this time of year. Participants will have three weeks to respond to the survey or return letters of evaluation.

The Three-Year Evaluation from start to completion is to take no more than a semester. This allows for (a) sufficient lead-time for OMS to prepare for the web delivery of the survey, (b) for administration to identify and categorize internal participants, (c) for the responsible administrator to generate any additional questions for the web-based survey for internal reviewers or the standardized letter of evaluation sent to external reviewers, (d) for responses of the multiple-source assessment to be gathered and analyzed, and (e) for the responsible administrator to assimilate all factors to consider in the final Three-Year Evaluation and communicate in writing the evaluation outcomes to the dean being reviewed.

Steps in the Process
Step 1:
(July 1 every year)
Office of Human Resources notifies the appropriate senior vice president that Three-Year Evaluation reviews should take place within their respective areas during the academic year.
Step 2:
Week 1
Office of Human Resources, working with the responsible administrator or designee, reviews list of faculty and staff who are a part of the dean’s unit and provides needed information (e.g., direct and indirect report lists with X.500 numbers, review/survey time line) to the Office of Measurement Services, (OMS) at the end of week 1.
Step 3:
Week 1
Responsible Administrator notifies the dean of the review, requests the preparation of a Performance Background Statement and other information, and sets date for meeting.
Step 4:
Week 3
Responsible Administrator meets with the dean being reviewed to (a) provide information concerning the evaluation review, (b) identify others within the University with whom the dean interacts in a significant way, (c) identify student leaders with whom the dean interacts, (d) review list of possible external reviewers and make further suggestions, (e) discuss the information contained in the Performance Background Statement, (f) discuss factors that may be important to consider or which may be viewed as problematic in the review and to gain insight into the context of such situations.
Step 5:
Week 4
Office of Human Resources, on behalf of the Responsible Administrator, requests participation in the on-campus web-based survey and sends letters requesting evaluative comment from external reviewers.
Step 6:
Weeks 5, 6, & 7
Office of Measurement Services collects data from survey responses. A designated person within the Office of Human Resources receives responses from external reviewers.
Step 7:
Week 8
Office of Measurement Services summarizes the data collected from the web-based survey and conducts analysis of the survey data. The Office of Human Resources compiles the responses from external reviewers and forwards the compilation to OMS,. OMS prepares a written report addressing results from both internal and external reviewers. This report, along with raw data, is forwarded to a designated person within the Office of Human Resources. If information received by OMS includes allegations of serious misconduct or illegal action, OMS will convey that information when noted to the responsible administrator.
Step 8:
Week 9 & 10
Office of Human Resources distributes the report to the responsible administrator and the appropriate Review Committee who then meet to discuss results of the survey and determine if any further data analysis is needed, the request for such analysis being made to OMS as soon as possible. The responsible administrator and Review Committee also discuss external reviewer comments in this meeting.
Step 9:
Week 10
Review Committee meets with the responsible administrator, OHR and OMS to share and discuss outcomes of the report.
Step 10:
Week 11
Responsible Administrator provides report to dean under review.
Step 11:
Weeks 12 & 13
Responsible Administrator meets with the dean being reviewed to discuss (1) the report and full review; and (2) resources or strategies that will be made available to help address areas needing attention. Responsible Administrator notifies the unit that the evaluation has been completed, and submits official file to appropriate office.
Step 12:
Weeks 13 & 14
Dean Being Reviewed reviews the official Review File at the conclusion of the process, if desired, and may submit written information to the official Three-Year Evaluation File to supplement or refute materials contained therein.
Step 13:
Week 14
Dean Being Reviewed is given the opportunity to comment on the evaluation; utilizes information from the evaluation in structuring personal professional development activities and future job activities.
E. Participants in the Multiple-Source Assessment
  1. The following individuals internal to the University will be given an opportunity to participate in the evaluation by responding to the standardized web-based survey:
    • Collegiate faculty and staff;
    • Collegiate student leaders (if applicable);
    • Peer administrators; and
    • Others as identified.
  2. The following individuals external to the University would be invited through letter to provide evaluative comment:
    • Peer administrators such as deans from other higher education institutions; and
    • Other external reviewers such as alumni, advisory board members, donors, legislators and community individuals.

Individuals with a conflict of interest with regard to the dean being reviewed should not participate in the review. A conflict of interest occurs when a relationship between two employees could directly or indirectly compromise their professional judgment in carrying out University activities. Examples of conflict of interest are situations described in Board of Regents policies: Conflict of Interest and Nepotism and Consensual Relationships.

F. Review Committee

Two small review committees are appointed, one that assists with dean evaluations occurring within the Academic Health Center and one that assists with all other dean evaluations. Members will serve for a period of one to two years. It is suggested that members would include a dean, faculty member and an academic professional and administrative employee, each from a different campus, college or administrative unit. Two additional faculty and/or academic professional or administrative members of the college will be selected and appointed to the committee by the responsible senior vice president. One individual is selected from a list of names forwarded to the responsible senior vice president from the college's faculty or collegiate assembly, and the other one also selected by the responsible senior vice president "at large."

The appropriate committee will meet with the senior vice president conducting the evaluation to review the results, suggest further analysis if needed, and track commonalities in review questions and outcomes from different reviews over a different period of time. The committees are also charged with helping to assess the validity and effectiveness of the multiple-source assessment instruments over time.

G. Final Three-Year Evaluation Document

The multiple-source evaluation report prepared by OMS is supplemented by additional evaluation and comment from the responsible administrator. Major accomplishments since the last multiple-source or three-year evaluation are to be included along with an overall summary of administrative strengths and areas that need attention.

H. Official Three-Year Evaluation File

An official Three-Year Evaluation file must be established jointly by the responsible administrator and the Office of Human Resources and will contain the following information:

  1. Copy of the survey instrument (provided to University reviewers) and the letter of evaluation (sent to external reviewers);
  2. Raw data collected including the disk and the letters of evaluations containing all responses to the web-based survey;
  3. Annual reviews since the last comprehensive review or Three-Year Evaluation;
  4. Report(s) from Office of Measurement Services; and
  5. Final Three-Year Evaluation document from the responsible administrator.

The entire official Three-Year Evaluation File will be available to the dean being reviewed for inspection at the conclusion of the review. The dean being reviewed may submit information to the file to supplement or refute materials contained in this file.

At the conclusion of the review, the official Three-Year Evaluation File will be maintained in the Office of Human Resources and will be held until the next Three-Year Evaluation is completed. A copy of the final Three-Year Evaluation document is maintained in the dean’s official personnel file within the Office of Human Resources.

I. Communication at Conclusion of Evaluation

The responsible administrator and dean being reviewed determine how and what will be communicated regarding the Three-Year Evaluation. To share summary or other information from the review requires written authorization from the dean being reviewed.


The 360-Degree Assessment is a developmental review process which incorporates an optional performance coaching component, the focus of which is determined by the review outcomes. The intent of this review is to provide an opportunity for the dean being reviewed to obtain feedback on areas where leadership development would be of benefit.

360-Degree Instrument

  1. Purpose

    The purpose of the standardized 360-degree web-based instrument is to assess a dean’s capabilities against leadership criteria and in so doing provide valuable developmental feedback from individuals who have opportunity to observe and interact on a regular basis with the dean being reviewed.

  2. Methodology

    Assessment data is sought from a small group of individuals who rate the dean on key areas of leadership. A standardized web-based tool is used, administered by an outside vendor. The administrator being reviewed selects a group of raters, (minimum of 8, maximum of 15). This group can be chosen from University administrative peers/associates, direct reports, others within the college and the responsible administrator. Raters should be individuals with whom the dean being reviewed generally interacts in conducting the unit's business. In addition to others providing assessment ratings, the dean being reviewed is also to do a self-assessment rating.

  3. Frequency and Timing of the Review

    The 360-degree assessment is to be scheduled a minimum of once every three years. For deans new to the position, a review of this nature is to be conducted within the first 12 months in the position. Reviews of this nature should occur sometime between September and April.

  4. Review Process

    An outside vendor administers the 360-degree tool. Results of the assessment are summarized and provided to the dean being reviewed by the vendor. The vendor will provide to the dean being reviewed a copy of the results and will be available to meet to discuss the review. The results of the assessment may be shared with the responsible administrator, as agreed to by the dean and responsible administrator.

  5. Optional Coaching

    After reviewing the results of the 360-degree assessment, the dean being reviewed may choose to request the use of a coach to assist in addressing areas to be strengthened.

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