Rutgers University Senate
Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee (FAPC)
Response to Charge S-0309, Evaluation of Administrators, Review
As amended by the Senate, March 26, 2004

[Revised 3/26/04]

A. Charge

Evaluate the current procedures for faculty staff and student evaluation of deans after the completion of two cycles of evaluation.  Recommend changes where appropriate, and examine the feasibility of extending the process to include vice presidents and other administrators.

B. Summary

The FAPC discussed at length, in several meetings, possible amendment and possible expansion of the current policy and practices that regulate the evaluation of administrators by faculty, students and staff.  The committee also met with the president, the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (EVPAA) and the provosts, to whom it is grateful for taking time off their busy schedules to meet with the committee, a meeting that was unprecedented, to our knowledge, in the operation of Senate committees.

The FAPC strongly believes that these evaluations should continue.  However, the conclusion of the committee is that the process of evaluation of deans at Rutgers University needs substantial overhaul if it is to be taken seriously.  The experience of six completed evaluations during two different administrations has left both deans and evaluators with varying degrees of frustration in what is generally perceived as an exercise in futility.  The goal is to find a way to preserve the current level of input while ensuring that the procedure will allow the University Administration to use the evaluations in a substantial manner.

The burden was to devise a policy that would safeguard concerns over trust and credibility without charging it and making it a priori adversarial.  This policy is such a compromise.  An all-inclusive survey is not mandated in the draft policy although it is the one part of the current policy that has met with wide satisfaction.  It is rather left as part of a decision process that is based on empowering a committee with most decisions while requiring participation of the appropriate constituency bodies in the determination of its membership and requiring feedback to, and approval of major decisions by, these bodies.

The committee proposes a major overhaul of the current policy as follows:

C. Background and discussion

The materials used for this document include:

The need for overhaul of the current policy and practices stems from the identification of several deficiencies emerging from examination of the first six evaluations of deans by faculty, students and staff. These fall into two categories:
I.  Deviations from the letter and/or the spirit of the existing guidelines that can be addressed with relative ease
II.  Deficiencies of the current policy which would require a complete overhaul of the policy to correct

I.  Deviations from the letter and/or the spirit of the existing guidelines that can be easily rectified by the inclusion of more specific language in the guidelines and by the establishment of safeguards include:
1. Only New Brunswick implemented the policy.
2. Most faculty and staff evaluators were reluctant to use the online system recommended in the guidelines because of confidentiality concerns.
3. One dean did not receive his evaluation from the UVPAA or the committee chair as they each assumed it would be done by the other.
4. The senate chair received copies from all possible sources (dean, committee, UVPAA, EVPAA).
5. At least two deans (rather than their unit) appointed their own evaluation committee.
6. One dean announced a completely different method of evaluation than the one specified in the guidelines.
7. The intent was that the dean's "supervisor" would meet initially with the faculty and the dean to set up the process for the evaluation, but that was not done in any unit.
8. There was confusion in at least one case of a dean of one of the liberal arts colleges in New Brunswick (that is, Douglass, Livingston, Rutgers, and University Colleges) in terms of who should be the "supervisor".

II. The deficiencies of the current policy are:
1. More clarity and specificity is needed in the expectations for the evaluation.1
2. Faculty committee chairs felt that it was awkward that the dean initiates his/her own evaluation.2
3. Lack of standardization of the questions asked or evaluation process.
4. Several deans received no feedback, or received feedback they perceived as inadequate.
5. Confusion between the terms "survey" and "evaluation."
6. Deans indicated they would like a chance to provide a written response.
7. Lack of feedback to evaluators on the results of the evaluation.3
8. Indications, or at least faculty perception, that evaluations are "not taken seriously."4
These deficiencies, especially #8, can only be rectified by the introduction of a new policy.

1At other peer AAUs (U. Iowa, U. Minnesota, U. Kansas, U. Texas et al) the question of the review is often whether ďthe dean should be encouraged to continue to serve as the leader of this academic unit.Ē Deans and other administrators at Rutgers serve at the pleasure of the president and reappointment as such does not exist.  The president sees the purpose of the review as a means to improve performance of the reviewed individual. Nevertheless, faculty should be provided with a less radical mechanism for indicating concerns than a vote of "no confidence." This proposed policy leaves the charging of the evaluating committee to the president and/or the dean's supervisor, with the expectation that the question of reappointment will not be part of such charging but also allows for the initiation of the process "off-cycle" by petition of the unit's faculty.
2The proposed policy puts the burden on the dean's supervisor.
3This item, in combination with the next, are by far the ones causing most of the faculty's disenchantment with a process that was hailed as a major step at Rutgers. Among eleven peer AAUs, five make everything public, five make it confidential, and one is in between. It is interesting, however, to note that there is a correlation between confidentiality and use of the evaluation: evaluations tend to be confidential in those institutions where the evaluation is primarily used for reappointment decisions (not the case at Rutgers). The proposed policy calls for some feedback to the evaluating bodies to be provided by the evaluating committee and the dean's supervisor.
4Addressing concern #7 will go a long way towards addressing this concern as well. It is expected that, once a process  that meets with the approval of the administration is in place, these reviews will form useful input to the dean's supervisor and the president. It is also expected that, even if the question of reappointment is not the central goal of the review, an exceptionally negative review should be taken strongly into account for an appropriate personnel decision.

Finally, in terms of expansion of the policy to other administrators, deans and faculty committee chairs feel that the process should be improved before it is extended to vice presidents.

D. Recommendation for a new policy to govern the review of administrators by faculty, staff and students

The committee proposes the amendment of the current process that involves faculty, student, and other input for the regular review of all deans with line authority in the University.  The amended process still includes all deans reporting directly to the provosts, or to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the deans of the liberal arts colleges in New Brunswick.

Each such dean shall normally be reviewed by this process every five years, in order to provide input to the supervising administrator of the dean under review as to his/her performance.

The committee reiterates that this process is not intended to be a replacement of the annual evaluations of deans done by their supervising administrators, but to be an additional source of data to aid in that process. The information and views gathered during the evaluation process will be used by the supervisor of the deans. Results should be used to provide feedback to the dean on his or her areas of strength and areas in which development may be needed. Correlation of results may be useful in identifying institutional weaknesses.

The committee recommends the following amendments to the current policy:

1. The normal evaluation cycle should be five years but an evaluation can be triggered at any time by the dean's supervisor, by the dean, or by the unit's faculty. The latter proceeds as follows: a petition by 25% of the unitís tenured faculty, or by 25% of the students of the unit, to the faculty secretary of the unit, or equivalent person, triggers a secret ballot docketed for the next faculty meeting where the question of whether to have an out-of-cycle evaluation of the dean to commence at the current semester is decided by majority vote of those voting. An evaluation by petition can only be requested once between regular evaluations.
2. The dean's supervisor will meet with the faculty unit and the dean to initiate the process.
3. The University Senate will be informed by the dean's supervisor in case of major delays or irregularities.
4. An ad hoc Dean Evaluation Committee (DEC), the majority of which must be faculty members5, will be formed by the dean's supervisor and/or the president as follows:
4a. The appropriate governance body of the unit will submit a slate of ten faculty members5 or 50% of the faculty, whichever is smaller, from within the unit, from which three will be chosen.
4b. The Executive Committee of the University Senate will submit a slate of eight faculty members5 from without the unit, from which two will be chosen. Faculty from related units should be preferred in the composition of the slate.

5Who do not hold administrative appointments other than department chairs, graduate directors or undergraduate directors.

4c. Up to three administrators can be appointed by the dean's supervisor
5. The DEC will meet as a body to elect its chair.
6. The DEC, in consultation with the deanís supervisor, will decide on whether to include in its membership representatives from among the staff, students, alumni, or other constituencies (from within or without the unit or even the university) with whom the dean may have substantial contact. In so doing the DEC must ensure that the majority of its members are faculty. The DEC will also decide on the manner of choosing such members. In the case of student membership, the student representative(s) should be chosen from among student senators representing the unit, and/or officers of the appropriate student governing association.
7. The DEC will then meet and formulate a plan for the review with advisory input from the dean and the dean's supervisor.  In so doing, the committee shall enjoy significant latitude, but will need to ensure that meaningful faculty, student and staff input is received, and that the process provides for anonymity for respondents who request it.  Furthermore, in addition to any unit-specific questions or criteria, DECs will include in the review process evaluations of the dean in the following areas, as appropriate to the individual unit: 8.  The DEC should specifically address the question of whether there should or should not be a survey in which all faculty and staff would have input.  It will also decide on the constituencies to be polled (expected to vary among units).  It is also expected that input from students, PTLs and annuals will be solicited.
9.  The DEC will present the plan to the dean's supervisor and the appropriate constituency body of the unit for approval.  The faculty of the unit which the dean heads will specifically vote on whether a survey will be conducted as part of the evaluation.  If the faculty of the unit wish to modify the evaluation plan proposed by the DEC, they will return the proposal to the DEC, specifying their concerns and how they would like them to be addressed.  Should the DEC decide not to accept the facultyís proposed changes, it will provide the faculty with written reasons for its decision.  If a survey becomes part of the evaluation, then:
9a. A survey should be formulated by the DEC.  Provision should be made for narrative comments as well as a series of multiple-choice evaluations.  The multiple-choice evaluations will include the five performance areas listed above plus any unit-specific additions from the unit faculty.  Analysis of the data will be programmed so that means and other statistics will be standard outputs, along with anonymous listing of the narrative comments.  This summary of respondentsí input is all that will be made available to those having access to survey results.  The system must provide privacy assurances for the faculty, students and other respondents.  Use of a paper survey is recommended, but for units using an online survey, nonelectronic copies of the survey instrument will be provided to faculty, students or staff who do not wish to participate in the electronic version, and the DEC will need to determine how to protect the confidentiality of those respondents and how to ensure that their views are included in the overall evaluation.  Response rates for the survey by type of respondent (tenured and tenure-track faculty, other faculty, student, administrative and non-administrative staff, other) should be reported along with the survey results.

Units may wish to collect additional data, such as:

9b. The survey will be carried out by the Teaching Excellence Center (TEC); numerical results will be tabulated by the TEC as will the written comments.
9c. The committee or an external sub-committee will write a summary of the written comments and will correlate them with the numerical results (if any).
If a survey is not part of the evaluation, then the DEC should provide a venue for any faculty member who wishes to provide input with guarantees of anonymity.
10. A thorough evaluation process should be carried out by the DEC.  Additional input could include discussion summarized in narrative form (similar to departmental narratives used in faculty personnel decisions), or letters and communications from individuals commenting on the deanís performance, as long as anonymity of the individuals responding can be preserved, if desired by those respondents.  Units are encouraged to use qualitative as well as quantitative data in the evaluation process.  The dean's supervisor is encouraged to make available some secretarial support to the DEC.
11. Once completed, the report of the DEC shall be sent to the dean, along with a request for a written response.  The DEC will append the response of the dean to its report, and the chair of the evaluation committee should directly distribute the five copies to the president, the EVPAA, the dean's supervisor, the dean and the chair of the University Senate.  It is expected that the results will be confidential and that those with access to the results will respect that confidentiality.
12. The DEC will prepare a non-confidential summary of the findings, and will mail or e-mail it to the faculty of the unit.  The contents should include non-confidential information at the discretion of the DEC.  It is suggested that, if a survey is part of the review process, then some results of the survey be part of the feedback summary.  The deanís supervisor should have the opportunity to suggest changes to the summary to the committee.
13. The supervisor should meet with the dean to discuss the evaluation.
14. The supervisor should then meet with the dean and the faculty to discuss those results of the evaluation that pertain to unit policy, its strategic direction and its mode of operation and plans (if any) to bring about policy changes stemming from the review process.

Although this policy is intended to apply to deans in units with faculty positions, the process proposed herein for academic deans should also recognize the unique role and responsibilities of the deans of the liberal arts colleges in New Brunswick, where the fellows will play the role of the faculty in the process.  Performance standards that are responsive to the unique roles of the deans of the liberal arts colleges in New Brunswick should be developed.  In the case of these deans, the EVPAA, in consultation with the executive dean of FAS, will formulate a uniform policy in terms of apportioning the supervising role.

It is suggested that, at this stage, the policy be extended only to those center directors who are not members of the faculty bargaining unit, and that the decision on extending the process to vice presidents and other administrators be postponed until the proposed revised policy has been implemented for two years.

In Support of FAP Committee Report and Recommendations

Whereas, the University Senateís Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee has examined and reported on the evaluation of administrators by faculty and students; and

Whereas, the University Senate has reviewed the Committeeís report and its Recommendations for an amended policy, finding those recommendations to be sound and in the best interests of Rutgers University;

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Rutgers University Senate endorses the Report on Evaluation of Administrators by Faculty and Students, and urges the Administration to implement its recommendations, as amended.

Faculty Affairs and Personnel Committee members:
Gould, Ann, Cook (F), Co-Chair
Panayotatos, Paul, Engineering (F), Co-Chair, Executive Committee Liaison
Bell, Courtney, GSE (S)
Boyer, Lindsay, Graduate Student BOT Representative (S)
Boylan, Edward, FAS-N (F)
Breton, Michael, Assoc. VP for Research & Sponsored Programs (A)
Cannon, Roger, Engineering (F)
Chambers, John, FAS-NB (F)
Cooper, Keith, Cook Acting Dean (A)
Dadlani, Punit, UC-NB (S)
Dennis, Roger, Camden Provost (A)
Deutsch, Stuart, Law-Newark Dean (A)
Fishbein, Leslie, FAS-NB (F)
Flanagan, James, Vice President for Research (A)
Foley, Regina, Douglass (S)
Guo, Zhixiong, Engineering (F)
Hamilton, Zach, Crim. Just. (S)
Hara, Masanori, Engineering (F)
Hirsh, Haym, Rutgers (F)
Hodgson, Dorothy, FAS-NB (F)
Kressel, Ken, GS-N (F)
Leath, Paul, Rutgers (F)
Lee, Barbara, SMLR Dean (A) - Administrative Liaison
Merritt, David, GS-NB (F)
Puniello, Francoise, Douglass (F)
Schock, Kurt, NCAS (F)
Seto, Jennifer, Student Charter Trustee (S)
Simmons, Peter, Law-N (F)
Sofer, William, FAS-NB (F)
Taghon, Gary, Cook (F)
Thompson, Karen, PTL-NB (F)
Zylstra, Gerben, Other Units-NB (F)