Report of the 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

The recommendations in this report were approved by the Faculty Senate, May 1, 2000.

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 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 included the Revised Fall 1998 edition of the Senate-Chancellor Evaluation of Administrators Manual and updated information for 1999-2000. Background information was 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), Faculty Evaluation of Administrators: A Report (February 1999), the minutes of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (1988-1999), and the minutes of the Faculty Senate (1990-1999). Two related documents considered were 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 served as an additional resource.

Another approach to carrying out the Committee charge was to encourage ideas and viewpoints from the campus community as part of the deliberative process. A report from the Committee which appeared in the February issue of the Senate's Newsletter invited such participation. In addition, the Committee's Interim Report to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee on February 21, 2000, was posted on the Senate web site.

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 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?


Just as evaluations of faculty are intended to contribute to building a stronger University of Tennessee so, too, are evaluations of administrators. As a complement to annual reviews by supervisors, the five-year reviews of the Evaluation of Administrators process advance the goals of development and accountability. Rather than being an adversarial process, it is instead a cooperative effort for the greater good of the institution.

The combination of sufficient accumulated experience using the review process and the current reorganization of the University makes a re-examination appropriate and timely. Information about how the system has worked indicates that the current design of the process appears reasonable and practical in writing but that it has often not functioned effectively in its actual application. The reasons are varied, and the points at which reviews may become bogged down are numerous. Thus, the Committee concluded that the solution lies in a simpler streamlined process.

The 1992 Report of the Senate-Chancellor Committee To Implement a Program of Review of Administrators stated that "[w]hen a greater level of trust has been engendered some monitoring procedures will be obsolete and could be discarded." It is the view of the current Committee that the needed level of mutual respect and trust has been reached so that the recommendations for streamlining that follow can now be implemented.

Procedures for Conducting Reviews: Recommendations for Simplification

Recommendation 1. That the core procedures should be standardized for all reviews.

1.a. That one standardized questionnaire should be used.
1.a.(1). That the questionnaire in Appendix A should be adopted.
1.b. That a common set of categories of survey participants should be determined for each type of administrative position.
1.b.(1). That the categories of constituencies should include tenured, tenure-track, and continuing part-time faculty; other administrators; permanent staff; and students.

1.b.(2). That the guidelines in Appendix B for determining the informed respondents for each type of position should be adopted.
1.c. That when the administrator is scheduled for review, the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment should send the questionnaire to the specified groups of relevant constituencies.

1.d. That the results of the survey should be tabulated to reflect responses of the different constituencies, except where the number is insufficient, and should be accompanied by a front-page summary.

Recommendation 2. That there should be additional procedures only when survey results warrant further review.

2.a. That a more formal review should occur when at least 25% of the overall ratings are Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory. (Note: The Committee would defer to alternative recommendations for the percentage from those with special expertise in survey testing.]

2.b. That in such cases the Standing Committee should appoint a Review Committee composed typically of three members, with at least two being faculty.

2.c. That the Standing Committee should invite the administrator to submit a self-study and/or a current vita by a specified deadline, at which time the Review Committee should proceed even if a response is not received.

2.d. That the Review Committee should provide opportunities for in-person interviews with members of the relevant constituencies.

2.e. That the Review Committee should write a Final Report.

2.f. That a Plan of Action should be developed.

Positions to be Reviewed: Recommendations for Streamlining

Recommendation 3. That the Evaluation of Administrators Process should focus on academic administrators.

3.a. Academic administrators should be defined as those administrators whose decisions affect the professional lives of faculty in areas such as tenure, promotion, salary, and performance reviews and those who administer academic programs.
3.a.(1). That academic department heads, academic deans, and directors of academic programs with responsibilities equivalent to department heads and deans should be evaluated.

3.a.(2). That other administrators within Colleges should be evaluated as determined to be appropriate by the tenured faculty of the unit who should hold independent meetings before the end of the term and forward a list of their recommendations to the Standing Committee.

3.a.(3). That upper-level administrators whose positions meet the definition should be evaluated, with the positions to be identified when sufficient information about the University's restructuring becomes available.
3.b. That administrators whose job titles change should be reviewed according to the original schedule for their reviews unless there is a substantial change in their duties.

Recommendation 4. That a second kind of review should be considered for non-academic administrators with a focus on how well the office, program, policies, and procedures function to serve the needs of the University.

Communication of Review Results: Recommendations for Improvement

Recommendation 5. That the Standing Committee should present to the Faculty Senate a written report on the results of reviews.

5.a. The report should include a list of Satisfactory Reviews with the name of the administrator, administrative title, and the date of the last review.

5.b. The report should include a list For Further Review in cases where reviews prompted additional procedures with the name of the administrator, administrative title, and the date of the last review.

Recommendation 6. That there should be a targeted distribution of the results of reviews to the faculty who participated in the review.

6.a. That the Standing Committee should send the front-page statistical summary to the list of the faculty constituency for the particular review.

6.b. That where the numbers of faculty are large, the Standing Committee should investigate alternative methods of targeted distribution, including the possibility of electronic distribution.

Recommendation 7. That the results of all reviews should be made publicly available in a way that is responsible.

7.a. That the Standing Committee's reports, the front-page summary and the full tabulations of results, the Final Reports of Review Committees, and Plans of Action should be made available in the Reserve Room of Hodges Library in yearly volumes.

7.b. That the availability of the reports in the Library should be indicated in the Standing Committee's written reports to the Senate and on the Faculty Senate web page.

Appendix A

Faculty Senate Administrative Evaluation Questionnaire (PDF file, 236 K)

Appendix B

Guidelines for Determining Relevant Members of Constituencies

Note: To accommodate some variations in structure and titles, lists should be read to include directors and schools wherever they are equivalent.

Review of Academic Department Heads (and Directors of Academic Programs with Equivalent Responsibilities)

all tenured, tenure-track, and continuing part-time faculty in the unit

Other Administrators:
all academic department heads in the College; the dean and associate deans of the College

permanent staff in the unit

random sampling of students in the unit

Review of Academic Deans (and Directors with Equivalent Responsibilities)

all tenured, tenure-track, and continuing part-time faculty in the unit

Other Administrators:
all academic department heads in the College, if the College has separate departments;
all associate deans of the College;
all other academic deans;
administrators in the Office of the Provost

permanent College staff

random sampling of students in the College

Review of Upper-Level Academic Administrators

all tenured, tenure-track, and continuing part-time faculty

Other Administrators:
all academic department heads, deans, and associate deans;
other upper-level administrators

permanent staff with positions administered by the academic administrator

Student Government Association;
Graduate Student Association, unless the administrator deals with undergraduates only

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