University of Maryland

Policy on the Review of Deans of Academic Units

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 [Provost Home Page]
Senate Document 00-01-113Z
Approved by the College Park Senate on May 10, 2001
Approved by the President on July 9, 2001
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I. Purpose of the Review

Deans are appointed by the provost with the approval of the president. The administrative performance of deans shall be subject to recurrent formal comprehensive review at times that do not exceed five years between reviews1.

The purpose of the review is to evaluate how well the dean is fulfilling the responsibilities of a dean and to provide constructive recommendations for improving his or her success. A dean whose appointment is being considered for continuation shall be reviewed at the beginning of the last year of his or her current appointment, but no later than the beginning of the fifth year of the appointment to the post of dean. A decision about whether the appointment will be continued will be formally considered upon the completion of the review. A dean may request a review even if he or she is not contemplating a continuation of the appointment.

II. The Review Committee

The provost shall have primary responsibility for selecting an internal, and possibly an external, review committee, delivering the formal charge to the committee, and establishing a timeline for the review. Normally, the committee report should be delivered to the dean within three months of the first meeting of the committee. Committee membership should normally consist of 8-12 members and should include representation within the unit and outside of it and should encompass representatives from the main fields and constituencies within the unit (faculty, students, staff, directors). The committee should reflect the diversity goals of the university.

Nominations for committee members should be solicited from the Senate Executive Committee and from the unit's administrative and representative bodies as specified in the unit's Plan of Organization.

In some situations the provost may solicit the advice of an external review committee in addition to the advice of the internal review committee.

III. Information Provided to the Committee

The committee should have access to all relevant documents (e.g., Plan of Organization, the most recent unit reviews conducted, information from the Departmental Indicators Book, strategic plan of the unit, record of any grievances filed with the Senate against the dean). One of the first orders of business should be a meeting with the dean to receive a summary of his or her accomplishments, vision for the unit, and plans for its future development.

The committee should solicit information, either orally or in writing, from members of the unit (chairs, directors, faculty, staff, students) and from other constituencies as appropriate. The committee should ensure the confidentiality of information provided.

IV. Charge to the Committee

The committee is charged with reviewing the administrative performance of the dean and the functioning of the office of the dean. The committee must establish specific evaluative criteria in light of the nature of the unit and the specific responsibilities and duties of the dean of that unit. The committee should identify the relevant problems at the administrative level under review; should evaluate the particular situation that faced the dean at the beginning of his or her appointment, the current situation, and the future prospects of the college unit; and should consider the administrative style of the dean under review.

V. Guidelines for the Review

The following areas are suggested as a helpful guide for considering the administrative effectiveness of a dean.

1. Leadership
Demonstrating a strong commitment to advancing the excellence of the unit.
Developing goals and strategic plans and ensuring their implementation.
Appointing and reviewing those who report to the dean.
Making difficult decisions necessary to assure that goals are accomplished.
Developing and implementing procedures for the smooth operation of the unit.
2. Campus Citizenship
Taking a university perspective, helping to meet university goals, contributing to the activities of the university.
Complying with university policies on, for example, teaching, research, advising, academic freedom, diversity, and academic integrity.
3. Human Resource Management
Working effectively with other administrators, faculty, students, and staff within the unit.
Serving as a positive role model for the unit.
Supporting the professional development of members of the unit.
4. Communications
Communicating information and decisions to members of the unit.
Communicating the goals of the college to internal and external constituencies.
Fostering effective shared governance.
5. Responding to Work Demands
Expending the effort to get the job done.
Completing tasks in a timely manner.
Responding appropriately to demands from above and below.
Responding appropriately to changes or crises.
6. Budgeting and Use of Resources
Making budget decisions consistent with the unit's goals.
Making effective use of resources.
Maintaining fiscal responsibility and developing strategies for promoting greater efficiency.
Working with other parts of the university to design budget-sharing strategies.
7. Functioning of the Office of the Dean
Appointing top-quality assistant and associate deans and other support staff in the dean's office.
Ensuring that the various functions of the office of the dean are serving well the faculty, staff, students, and other constituents served by the unit.
VI. The Report

The committee shall submit its report to the provost normally within three months of its first meeting. The provost shall provide a copy of the report to the dean under review, and shall give the dean an opportunity to respond to the report in writing. Should the dean choose to respond, that response will be attached to the committee's report as a permanent appendix.

The provost shall then convene a meeting with the dean under review to discuss the report, the dean's present strengths and weaknesses, and the appropriateness of continuing the dean's appointment for another term. If reappointment is recommended, the provost shall submit to the president a copy of the report and the dean's response along with a request for approval of the reappointment.

Upon notification of the president's action, the provost shall distribute a summary of the report to the members of the unit. A copy of the provost's letter to the president, the committee's report, and the president's reply will be kept on file in the Office of Faculty Affairs.

VII. Review Procedures

The Provost shall report to the Senate each year on the number of reviews conducted and any changes in the procedures.


1 Refer to Section II.2.d of the Revised Senate Plan of Organization for the University of Maryland, College Park, approved by the University Senate on March 6, 2000, amended on May 11, 2000, approved by President C. D. Mote, Jr. on August 28, 2000, and ratified by the campus on September 22, 2000. 
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