Deans' Duties and Evaluations

Section: Academic Policies
Policy Name: Deans’ Duties and Evaluations
Policy Owner: Provost
Responsible University Office: Office of the Provost
Origination Date: June 5, 1989
Revisions: October 15, 2001; September 11, 2015
Legacy Policy Number: 4-32
    This policy describes the duties and responsibilities of the deans of the University’s colleges and prescribes the procedure for periodic review of deans’ performance.
    1. Under the direction of the Provost, each of the University’s colleges is managed and directed by a dean, who is appointed by the President subject to the approval of the Provost and confirmation by the Board of Trustees as provided in Section of the Board of Trustees’ Bylaws. Each dean reports to the Provost, who serves as the University’s chief academic officer.
    2. Deans are reviewed at periodic intervals and prior to reappointment to ensure that they are meeting the Provost’s performance expectations and their colleges are being managed satisfactorily and efficiently.
    3. The dean’s performance will be evaluated in relationship to the realization of the college’s objectives, goals, and plans as developed by the college and agreed upon by the Provost and the President. Each college will be recognized as having certain objectives, goals, and plans which may require special evaluation procedures. It is expected that every dean will be an effective and committed champion of academic excellence.
    1. Appointment and Reappointment of Deans.
      1. The duties of deans are set forth in Section 3.4.2 of the typical obligations of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of the University of Delaware and are further explained in Section 2.2 of the Faculty Handbook. The dean serves as the college’s chief administrative and operating officer, subject at all times to the supervisory authority of the Provost and President, and is generally responsible for managing and directing the academic, administrative, operational, and financial affairs of the college.
      2. A dean is appointed or reappointed for a term of five years, although the President at his or her discretion may appoint or reappoint a dean for a longer or shorter term. A dean is eligible to be reappointed for a subsequent term or terms. Should a dean be a candidate for reappointment, the dean will undergo a major review in the final academic year of his or her term as dean in accordance with the procedure specified in Section III.C.3 of this policy.
    2. Duties and Responsibilities of Deans.
      1. Deans’ responsibilities vary depending upon the mission and operating characteristics of particular colleges. The responsibilities of each dean are assigned by the Provost and typically include all the following duties. Although the dean may assign or delegate some of these duties to chairpersons, deputy/vice/associate/assistant deans, faculty committees or others, the dean is responsible for satisfactory performance of all duties assigned.
      2. The duties of the dean typically include the following.
        1. Organization and Communication
          1. The dean is responsible for defining, articulating, and achieving the college’s overall objectives; fulfilling its educational, scholarship, and service activities; and meeting its primary criteria for success.
          2. The dean is a senior member of the University academic leadership team. The dean actively participates in and contributes to the formulation of University and college policies and regulations, and is responsible for the dissemination and execution of such policies and regulations within the college.
          3. The dean is responsible for supervision of the college’s internal administrative operations, including the management of college finances and personnel, the preparation and distribution of necessary program assessments, and the coordination of the college’s activities.
          4. The dean communicates within the college for the University administration and expresses the college’s views to the University administration.
          5. The dean represents the college before committees, councils, and other governing and advisory bodies.
          6. The dean oversees the activities of the college and assures adequate internal communications within the college to provide faculty, students, and staff adequate opportunity for participation in college affairs. Where appropriate (and with the advice of the faculty and the approval of the Provost, the President, and the Board of Trustees) the dean organizes the faculty into departments or similar organizational entities and, with the advice of the faculty, recommend persons to administer such units.
          7. The dean is responsible for the proper use of allocated college space (excluding general classrooms), facilities, equipment, and supplies.
          8. The dean engages in fundraising and development working in coordination with the Office of University Development.
        2. Faculty and Personnel Development
          1. The dean is responsible for providing leadership in the continual improvement of the quality of the college’s teaching, scholarship, and service activities.
          2. The dean is responsible for the establishment of priorities and for the allocation and use of the college’s resources by administering the teaching, scholarship, service, and support activities of the college.
          3. The dean is responsible for continually improving the quality of the college’s faculty and professional and administrative staff by managing processes for:
            1. new appointments;
            2. reappointments;
            3. salary adjustments;
            4. promotions;
            5. tenure for qualified faculty members;
            6. non-renewals;
            7. leaves of absence.
        3. College Planning and Administration
          1. The dean is responsible for promoting a positive morale and academic excellence in the college.
          2. The dean is responsible for overseeing the development and maintenance of the college’s curricula and academic programs which originate with the faculty (including Continuing Education and the summer and winter programs).
          3. The dean is responsible for the preparation of budgets, allocation of funds, and supervision of college expenditures and for maximizing program effectiveness with the resources available. The dean is responsible for actively managing the revenues and expenses of the college in a way that assures the college’s financial health and sustainability.
          4. The dean provides leadership and coordination for the college in obtaining grants and contracts for research, instructional improvement, service, and other special activities appropriate to the college’s objectives.
          5. The dean facilitates and promotes research and publication (or professional equivalent) and is responsible for acquiring and maintaining the research equipment and facilities required for the present and future work of the college, as well as for the coordination and control of the use of such equipment and facilities.
          6. The dean cooperates with University administration in planning and managing physical facilities appropriate to the functions of the college and in scheduling the use of such facilities by the college.
          7. The dean is responsible for evaluation of the effectiveness of the college’s programs and activities.
        4. Administration of Student Development
          1. The dean is responsible for facilitating the advisement of all students in the college.
          2. The dean is responsible for the enforcement of academic rules and regulations within the college.
          3. The dean actively encourages student participation and involvement in college affairs.
        5. Procedure for Evaluation
          Two types of evaluation are important and necessary:

          1. Annual Evaluations
            While the term of appointment for Deans is dependent on college needs and the requirements for program development and continuity, Deans are subject to an annual review and serve at the pleasure of the Provost and the President. Customarily a major in-depth review is conducted after the initial five years of appointment.
          2. Major Periodic Evaluations
            Deans are appointed by the Provost subject to approval of the President and confirmation by the Board of Trustees. Terms are typically for five years. The Provost shall generally conduct summative performance evaluations of each dean at intervals of no longer than five years. However, the Provost may request a summative review at any time. The purpose of these evaluations is to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the dean and make constructive recommendations regarding the dean’s performance. A dean whose appointment is being considered for renewal shall generally be evaluated no later than the beginning of the final academic year of his or her term.

            Procedures for Major Periodic Evaluations

            1. The Provost will notify the academic dean of the pending evaluation and timeline. Notification of the evaluation process should also be transmitted to the faculty and staff of the pertinent College.
            2. The Provost will select the ad hoc review committee members, appoint the chair of the committee, deliver the formal charge to the committee and establish a timeline for the evaluation. The committee will be charged with gathering information from all sources they, in conjunction with the Provost, deem relevant, but including at a minimum the sources outlined below. The committee will further be charged with delivering a written report on its findings to the Provost and the dean. This report shall contain specific comments concerning the college’s achievements and weaknesses, in light of and related to the unit’s goals under the dean’s leadership, as supported by the evidence.
            3. The chair of the committee should be an academic dean who is not being evaluated concurrently.  Committee memberships should consist of 6-8  members and include representation within the College (faculty, staff, directors, etc.). The committee membership should reflect the diversity goals of the University. In some situations, the Provost may include committee members from outside the college or outside the University.
            4. The Committee should have access to all relevant documents (i.e. college strategic plan, recent academic program reviews, accreditation reports, benchmark data on faculty productivity, surveys) as determined by the Provost. The committee shall also have access to the dean’s written reflection and self-evaluation of his/her performance and the college’s progress. The committee shall solicit input from faculty, staff, and students within the college as well as with other members of the senior leadership who interact frequently with the dean (e.g. Vice President for Development, Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs, Executive Vice President, Deputy Provosts, Vice Provosts, fellow deans, etc.). Where appropriate, the committee may solicit additional information from the Provost’s Office as well as other units, agencies or individuals outside the college or University.
            5. The committee will ensure the confidentiality of discussions and information considered.
            6. The committee will prepare a draft report describing their findings. The committee chair will review the penultimate draft with the Provost prior to formal submission of a final report.
            7. After the committee submits its report, the Provost will consider the recommendations in the context of his/her own knowledge and judgment of the dean’s work. The Provost will share the substance of the report and his reflections upon it in a personal interview with the dean before sending his/her recommendations to the President.
              General Criteria for the Evaluation
              In addition to any factors unique to the particular college, the following areas are suggested as a guide for considering the administrative effectiveness of a dean.

              1. Leadership
                • Demonstrate a strong commitment to and effectiveness in advancing excellent educational (both undergraduate and graduate) and research, scholarship, and/or creative arts programs.
                • Develop goals and strategic plans in collaboration with faculty and other academic leaders. Ensure effective communication and implementation.
                • Appoint and provide effective mentoring of high quality for faculty, deputy, associate and assistant deans, department chairs and other staff.
                • Enhance the quality of faculty, staff and programs in the college by establishing excellent hiring plans, and rigorous reviews.
                • Model professional behavior and respectful treatment of others, especially when addressing differences in opinion or managing a challenging change process.
                • Develop and implement procedures for the smooth operation of the college.
                • Develop effective external partnerships that advance the mission, reputation, and visibility of the college.
                • Actively take steps to promote a positive morale and inspire pride and top performance of faculty, staff and students.
              2. University Citizenship
                • Contribute to the university’s mission and strategic goals and enhance the excellence of the university. In particular, how has the dean advanced the diversity of goals of the institution? How has the dean enhanced interdisciplinary research and education in areas of strategic importance to the university, the region, and the nation?
                • Work effectively with other deans, administrators, faculty, students and staff.
                • Comply with University, governmental, and professional policies and procedures.
                • Effectively represent the university to external constituencies.
              3. Communications
                • Communicate efficaciously information and decisions to faculty, staff and students.
                • Communicate efficaciously the goals of the college and university mission to internal and external constituencies.
                • Foster effective shared governance.
              4. Budget and Use of Resources
                • Make budget decisions consistent with college goals.
                • Generate and use resources effectively.
                • Maintain fiscal responsibility.Develop strategies for greater efficiency and for generating revenue.
                • Work with other colleges and units of the university to design budget-sharing strategies.
                • Encourage entrepreneurial thinking throughout the college.
              5. Development
                Work with the Development Office and the College Director of Development in establishing fundraising goals and assuring goals are accomplished.