Interim Report to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee
February 21, 2000

Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee
on Evaluation of Administrators Process

E. Grady Bogue, Educational Administration & Policy Studies
F. Michael Combs, Music
Josette H. Rabun, Interior Design
Ronald E. Yoder, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering
Norma C. Cook, Special Programs, Chair

Committee Charge

The establishment of a Committee to study the Evaluation of Administrators process came from a recommendation of the Faculty Senate Executive Council at its meeting on July 14, 1999. Consideration of the Standing Committee's suggested reforms, some of which were approved on a one-year basis, generated additional ideas for possible revisions in the process. Thus, approval was given to establishing a committee "to study the entire matter."

Committee Approaches to Carrying Out the Charge

The Committee began its work by creating an overall framework for addressing its charge. An approach with two phases was established: (1) to consider the purpose of the reviews, taking a fresh look at what the faculty wishes to achieve, and (2) to examine questions related to the best way to achieve that purpose.

The Committee has consulted a variety of sources to gain a fuller understanding of both the current status of the process and the history of its development. Current documents include the Revised Fall 1998 edition of the Senate-Chancellor Evaluation of Administrators Manual and updated information for 1999-2000. Background information has been gathered from an AAUP-UTK Chapter Resolution on Faculty Evaluation of Administrators (February 1, 1990), the Report of the Senate-Chancellor Committee to Implement a Program of Review of Administrators (August 31, 1992), the Report of the Faculty Senate/Chancellor Evaluation of Administrators Process (From Spring 1993 to Spring 1997), the minutes of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (1988-1999), and the minutes of the Faculty Senate (1990-1999). Two related documents being given consideration are Item 7 on Accountability of Administrators which was among the Resolutions on Tenure Policy adopted by the Faculty Senate (February 1, 1999) and the AAUP document on "Faculty Participation in the Selection, Evaluation, and Retention of Administrators" (Policy Documents & Reports, 1995 edition). The past experiences of Committee members as participants on Review Teams and the Standing Committee serve as an additional resource.

Another approach to carrying out the Committee charge is to encourage ideas and viewpoints from the campus community as part of the deliberative process. A report from the Committee which is to appear in the February issue of the Senate's Newsletter invites such participation. In addition, this report and the final report will be posted on the Senate web site with a similar invitation.

Summary of Current Core Procedures

Manual, Revised Fall 1998: Timetable

B. Administrative Review Timetable



The Planning Semester ...  
Beginning of calendar year ... Human Resources updates a list of all administrators for the Standing Committee.
Beginning of each term ... Standing Committee determines who is eligible for review. Final list goes to the chancellor for approval. Review Committee chair is appointed. Review Committees are appointed by Faculty Senate college caucuses.
30 days later ... Confirmation letters go out to administrators under review, the Review Committee chair and committee members. Administrators under review begin self-study.
30 days later ... Review Committee begins to function after completion of the self-study. At the first meeting, the administrator, supervisor and entire committee will:
1. Make a list of people to receive survey questionnaires;
2. Revise generic survey questionnaire as needed and send revisions to the Standing Committee for approval; and
3. Schedule in-person interviews. Supervisor and Review Committee chair set deadlines for Review Committee.
Two weeks later ... Standing Committee reviews questionnaire revisions. Questionnaire goes to Cindy Lee, senior secretary, Office of the Chancellor. OIR schedules reviews.
The Review Semester ...
One week after classes start, the first review begins ... Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) sends out the first scheduled survey questionnaires and records responses as they arrive. Cindy Lee records verbatim responses as they arrive. Interviews are scheduled for those who request them.
6 weeks later ... Review Committee receives the results of the survey; begins work on Final Report.
30 days later ... Final Report goes to Standing Committee for approval.
30 days later ... Administrator, supervisor and Review Committee meet to review Final Report.
30 days later ... Supervisor and Review Committee chair complete Plan of Action, which goes to the chancellor for approval. The Plan of Action and Final Report are sent to Cindy Lee in the Office of the Chancellor.

Revisions Approved for One Year

The recommendations below were proposed in a 7 July 1999 letter from Kathy E. Bohstedt, SCOEA Chair, to M. Mark Miller, Faculty Senate President, and were approved for use for a period of one year with the minor changes noted.

"2. Administrative self-studies will be in the hands of SCOEA before the faculty review team is seated."

"3. No review team will have more than three members."

"5. The Chancellor's office will provide an annual report to the faculty in which there is a list of completed reviews, and notification that the Final Report and Plan of Action have been filed, and are available for inspection."

"6. If the Final Report of the Review Team finds no need for improvement, there will not be a follow-up meeting of the Team Chair, the administrator under review and the supervisor. A copy of the Final Report will be sent to the administrator and the supervisor, and if they wish to discuss it, that's up to them." [Two changes: "mandatory follow-up meeting" and the addition of a sentence permitting the person reviewed to request such a meeting]

"7. The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate will examine the list of 'administrators' from which the Standing Committee works in order to identify those (e.g., 'Directors') that we don't need to evaluate." ["approved allowing the standing committee to determine for the coming year which administrators will be reviewed" (Executive Council Minutes 14 July 1999)]

Principles Incorporated in the Process

The process has two purposes. The primary one is to make a significant contribution to the decision by the supervisor about whether to retain the administrator in the position. Another goal is professional development of administrators retained, a goal based on the premise that everyone is capable of improving.

The review process complements annual reviews done by the direct supervisor through its depth of constituencies.

Two categories of administrators are reviewed: academic (department heads and above) and non-academic (those reporting directly to vice chancellors or chancellor).

Reviews occur on a regular schedule: in the person's tenth semester in the position and then every five years. A review occurs in the fourth semester for appointments, including acting ones, to new positions.

The focus of the five-year process is the administrator's effectiveness, not whether the person's office/program is functioning well.

Information is collected from survey questionnaires and in-person interviews, and confidentiality is ensured.

Surveys are sent to constituents capable of providing informed responses. Faculty and students must be included. Other constituencies may be included, such as administrators, staff, and alumni/ae.

The process produces a Final Report and a Plan of Action, both of which are filed with the chancellor's office and are open in accordance with state laws. Access requires a written request. one requirement of the Plan of Action is that it "must specify how the results of the review process will be shared with faculty and other relevant constituencies" (Manual 13).

A follow-up procedure occurs eighteen months after the Plan of Action is filed. The chancellor is sent a progress report by the supervisor. Copies also go to the Standing Committee chair and the Review Committee, and the chair of either group can request additional meetings should progress be judged unsatisfactory.

Major Questions Being Addressed

1. What should be the purposes of administrative reviews, and are these purposes being achieved?

2. What is the appropriate philosophic rationale for determining which administrators are to be reviewed, and is the current list consistent with that rationale?

3. Is the review process functioning effectively under the procedures set out in the 1998 Manual?

a. Are all reviews that are scheduled being conducted? If not, why not?

b. Are all reviews being completed, including the final step of the Plan of Action? If not, why not?

c. Are reviews progressing according to the established Timetable? If not, why not?
4. Are there any procedures that are inefficient or no longer needed?

5. Are there gaps in the current process that need to be addressed? Are any additional procedures needed to ensure that the process meets its purposes?

6. What are the effects of the University's reorganization on the review process? Do they require any adjustments in current procedures?

Issues Being Debated

How to simplify the process to make it work

whether to establish a streamlined process that would function automatically when a review is scheduled in a manner similar to student evaluation of teaching

whether to adopt a simpler standardized questionnaire that would be applicable to all administrators being reviewed

whether to report results in a form similar to that used for student evaluations of teaching

whether the self-study is needed
How to spotlight egregious behavior
whether there should be a mechanism that would trigger a more intensive review in such cases

whether some percentage of overall unsatisfactory ratings should be used as this mechanism

how a more intensive review would proceed
Whether the process should focus on academic administrators

How to ensure that faculty are appropriately informed of the results of reviews

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