I am writing in response to the Report and Recommendations on Charge A-0812 Part I on the Evaluation of Academic Deans, as adopted by the University Senate on March 26, 2010.  I thank the members of the Faculty and Personnel Affairs Committee for their timely attention to this issue.
My administration is pleased to accept the Senate's two main revisions to the 2004 evaluation policy, namely to make the survey instrument mandatory for all evaluations, and to shift the timing of the first evaluation of newly appointed deans to after four years of service rather than after five years.  Please note that with respect to the latter recommendation, it may be necessary to phase in the four-year review of new deans on one or more of the campuses in order to allow for a manageable number of evaluations to take place in any given year, particularly given the suspension of reviews during AY 2009-10 while the Senate Committee considered revisions to the process.
The Senate’s recommended wording changes throughout the document related to constituent input during the evaluation, feedback of evaluation results to the community, and responsibilities for survey implementation and analysis all help to clarify the details of the process that earlier evaluation committees found confusing.  The addition of a one-semester timeline for the evaluation also is welcome.  We also are pleased to accept two additional recommendations of the Senate, with slight modification.  The first of these calls for the dean being evaluated to submit a brief statement of responsibilities and accomplishments, as well as the dean’s vision and strategic plan for the unit.  On the New Brunswick campus this document should be requested by the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, as the revised document suggests. However, on the Newark and Camden campuses, the dean should receive the request for this document from the Chancellors.  The second recommendation to be accepted in slightly revised form relates to the dean’s response to the draft evaluation report. 
The document now specifies that the evaluation committee should have access to the dean’s response but will not act on it.  This language should be amended to allow modification to the original evaluation report in response to the dean’s reply, particularly in cases where the dean has pointed out to the committee errors of fact or interpretation.
With these slight modifications, the revised process should serve the university well as we proceed to conduct decanal reviews on all three campuses.  I appreciate the thoroughness of the committee’s deliberations and the care taken in crafting the revised language, ensuring an improved process with benefit to deans, their constituents, and the university administration.
Sincerely yours,
Richard L. McCormick

c:         Philip Furmanski, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
            Steve Diner, Chancellor-Newark Campus
            Wendell Pritchett, Chancellor-Camden Campus