Handbook of Operating Procedures

Process for Periodic Reviews of Deans

In addition to annual performance evaluations, there are periodic reviews to assess the progress deans have made in reaching school goals and furthering institutional objectives. These reviews are comprehensive in that they assess progress in the school's education, research, and service programs as well as the conduct of administrative responsibilities such as planning, budgeting, resource allocation, and faculty/staff recruitment and development. In all of these areas, quality, effectiveness, efficiency, and innovation are important considerations.  The president is responsible for initiating and overseeing the periodic reviews of deans. The specific process to be followed is outlined below, and includes initiation of the review; appointment of the review committee; review process; and communication of findings. The findings and recommendations in the reviews are used in a variety of ways by the president and dean, and are particularly important for planning since they identify strengths, weaknesses, and potential opportunities for enhancement.

Initiation of the Review

The comprehensive review is initiated by the president every five to seven years following a dean's initial appointment. The president notifies the dean in writing that the review is scheduled and requests that the dean prepare a written report briefly summarizing his/her achievements. The dean's report should be submitted to the president within 30 days of notification of the review, and should include a summary of the dean's goals/priorities, accomplishments, and other pertinent activities during the period being reviewed.

Appointment of the Review Committee

  • The president appoints a committee that will be charged with conducting the review and preparing a written report of the findings. The committee may have up to eight members, and will include the following individuals:
    • two faculty representatives elected by the faculty at large in the respective school;
    • one representative who is elected by and is a member of the respective school's academic administration (chairs, associate and assistant deans); and
    • up to five additional members appointed by the president and including at least two representatives from outside this institution with an appropriate knowledge and understanding of the school's mission.

The chair of the committee is appointed by the president from the membership.

Review Process

The review process should allow broad participation of constituencies within and outside the university. Representatives from the faculty, school administration, student body, and other appropriate groups will meet with the Review Committee to discuss the school's leadership and progress in meeting its mission and goals. Faculty members in the associated school also will have an opportunity to respond to a written survey that is designed to assess the dean's performance in several areas.  The review should evaluate the dean's performance in several critical areas, utilizing data from a variety of sources. These areas, not in order of importance, include:

  • progress in achieving school goals in education, research, and service;
  • support of institutional mission and goals;
  • stewardship of resources;
  • faculty recruitment, retention, and development;
  • leadership and management;
  • promotion of and support for diversity and balance among faculty, staff, and students;
  • communication with faculty, staff, and students;
  • promotion of a collegial environment;
  • promotion and demonstration of university values; and
  • enhancement of the school's local, state, and national reputation.

The above areas are discussed in more detail in I. Major Criteria for Assessing the Dean's Performance, with consideration of potential mechanisms for assessment.

Communication of Findings

The Review Committee should complete its review and present its findings to the president within 120 days of receiving its charge. The committee will meet with the president to discuss the findings, and it will also prepare a written report for the president and a briefing document for faculty members in the respective school. The president's report should identify the processes utilized in conducting the review (e.g., process followed, resources utilized); assess the dean's performance for each of the parameters identified in I. Major Criteria for Assessing the Dean's Performance; and summarize recommendations for enhancing the leadership and progress of the school. The briefing document should summarize the processes followed and major findings and recommendations, and it should be prepared in consultation with the president. The president is responsible for communicating the findings of the Review Committee to the dean and the faculty members in the respective school. The president will meet with the dean to review the findings, and the dean also will be provided a copy of the written report and briefing document. The president will forward to all faculty members within the school a copy of the briefing document prepared by the Review Committee, and, if indicated, meet with the faculty to discuss the report.


The following criteria are the major areas on which the reviews of deans should focus. For each of them, quality, effectiveness, efficiency, and innovation should be important considerations. When appropriate, there should also be consideration of future plans and expectations.

Progress in Achieving School Goals in Education, Research, and Service -- It is the responsibility of the dean to ensure that the school is making progress in achieving its mission and goals in education, research, and service. The Review Committee may assess this progress in a variety of ways, but documents that should guide the assessment are operating plans that outline the school's mission, goals, and programmatic plans; management reports that identify the school's progress in meeting its mission and goals; and accreditation reports, departmental and program reviews, and performance of students and graduates in licensing or other external examinations that indicate the school's success in meeting goals and professional standards/requirements.

Support of Institutional Mission and Goals -- Each school plays an integral role in assuring that the institution's mission and goals are accomplished, both through programs within the school and through collaborative efforts with other UTHealth units and external partners. It is the responsibility of the dean to ensure that these institutional goals are supported. The Review Committee should utilize the school's operating plans, management reports, the dean's report, and interviews with other members of university administration to assist them in assessing the school's support of the institutional mission and goals.

Faculty Recruitment, Retention, and Development -- The success of a school's educational, research, and service programs depends more than anything else on the quality of the faculty that a school is able to recruit and retain and on continued faculty development, and it is the responsibility of the dean to ensure efforts in these areas are successful. In recruitment, it is essential that searches target high-quality faculty members who will strengthen or be able to develop areas of priority in the school's educational, research, and service programs. Retention of faculty will depend on such factors as a supportive and collegial environment that fosters scholarship and creativity, equitable compensation programs that recognize merit, and mentoring of faculty members to support appropriate career progression. Faculty development will promote the continued renewal and growth of faculty members' knowledge and expertise, utilizing both informal and formal programs that take advantage of internal resources as well as external opportunities. The Review Committee should assess these by reviewing quantitative data pertaining to the recruitment, turnover, and promotion of faculty; reviewing specific goals and programs in these areas; and interviewing and/or surveying faculty.

Leadership and Management -- As the leading academic officer for his/her school, the dean is expected to provide leadership and vision as the school pursues its educational, research, and service mission and goals. The dean also is responsible for the overall management of the school's various functions, units, and resources and for developing a cadre of capable administrators. The Review Committee should assess these areas by interviewing appropriate constituencies and through faculty surveys.

Promotion of and Support for Diversity and Balance Among Faculty, Staff, and Students -- The institution is committed to enhancing the diversity of our faculty, staff, and students, and it is the responsibility of the dean to ensure that this goal is met within his/her school. The success of the dean in promoting ethnic diversity and gender balance at all levels within the school will be assessed by reviewing faculty, administrative and professional (A&P), and classified staff appointments and promotions by gender and ethnicity; reviewing the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board report on students; reviewing goals and programs in this area; and assessing whether the environment supports the goal of achieving diversity and balance by interviewing and/or surveying faculty, staff, and students.

Stewardship of Resources -- The dean is responsible for managing the resources of the school and ensuring that they are effectively and efficiently utilized. Therefore, when assessing stewardship, the Review Committee should consider the extent to which resource allocation supports the school's priorities; the success of the school in leveraging state dollars; and the management of the school's capital assets considering both current assets and plans for replacement/renewal.

Communication with Faculty, Staff, and Students -- It is essential that the dean communicate effectively with faculty, encouraging an open exchange of ideas and ensuring that all groups are appropriately informed about issues impacting the school and institution. The dean also should ensure that there are effective communication channels/mechanisms for keeping students and staff appropriately informed. These may be assessed during the interview process and through faculty surveys.

Promotion of a Collegial Environment -- The dean should foster a collegial environment that promotes scholarship, encourages creativity, and advances an interdisciplinary approach in education, research, and service. Thus, the dean should encourage collegiality between schools as well as within the school. The dean should strive to create a scholarly environment that stimulates positive interactions between faculty and students. The dean also must ensure appropriate faculty participation in the governance of the school. These may be assessed during the interview process and through faculty surveys.

Promotion and Demonstration of University Values -- The dean should articulate and demonstrate through his/her actions values and attributes that foster morale and support the institution's mission and goals. These include such values/characteristics as trustworthiness, respect for others, honesty, fairness, and integrity, and should be assessed through interviews and the faculty surveys.

Enhancement of the School's Local, State, and National Reputation -- The dean is responsible for being knowledgeable about and enhancing his/her school's reputation at the local, state, and national levels. Enhancement is achieved both through the promotion of excellence in the school's faculty, students, staff, and programs and through the dean's own achievements and recognition as a leader in his/her field of expertise. These should be assessed through interviews and the faculty surveys.

Updated 4/94

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