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Section I: System-wide Councils and Institutional Boards

Policy Number: I-6.00(C)

University of Maryland Policy on the Review of Department Chairs and Directors of Academic Units

(Approved by the President )

I. Purpose of the Review

Department chairs and directors of academic units are appointed by the dean with the approval of the provost. The administrative performance of department chairs and directors of academic units shall be subject to recurrent formal comprehensive review at times that do not exceed five years between reviews(1).

The purpose of the review is to evaluate how well the chair or director is fulfilling his or her administrative responsibilities and to provide constructive recommendations for improving his or her success. A chair or director whose appointment is expected to be considered for continuation shall be reviewed at the beginning of the last year of his or her current appointment, but no later than the beginning of the fifth year of his or her current appointment to the post of chair or director. A decision about whether the appointment will be continued will be formally considered upon the completion of the review. A chair may request a review even if he or she is not contemplating a continuation of the appointment.

II. The Review Committee

The dean shall have primary responsibility for selecting an internal review committee, delivering the formal charge to the committee, and establishing a timeline for the review. Normally, the committee report should be delivered to the dean within two months of the first meeting of the committee. Committee membership should normally consist of 5-7 members and should include representation from within the unit and outside of it, and should encompass the constituencies within the unit (faculty, students, staff). The committee should reflect the diversity goals of the university. The dean should consult appropriately before appointing members to the review committee.

III. Information Provided to the Committee

The committee should have access to all relevant documents (e.g., the unit's Plan of Organization, the most recent unit reviews, strategic plan of the unit, information from the Office of Institutional Research and Planning’s PROFILES database, record of any grievances filed with the Senate against the chair). The committee should initially meet with the chair to receive a summary of his or her accomplishments, vision for the department, and plans for its future development.

The committee should solicit information, either orally or in writing, from members of the unit (faculty, staff, students) and from other constituencies as appropriate. The committee should ensure the confidentiality of information provided.

IV. Charge to the Committee

The committee is charged with reviewing the administrative performance of the chair or director. The committee must establish specific evaluative criteria in light of the nature of the unit. The committee should identify the relevant problems at the administrative level under review; should evaluate the particular situation that faced the chair or director at the beginning of his or her appointment, the current situation, and the future prospects of the unit; and should consider the administrative style of the chair or director under review.

V. Guidelines for the Review

The following areas are suggested as a useful guide to considering the administrative effectiveness of a chair or director:

1. Leadership

  • Demonstrating a strong commitment to advancing the excellence of the unit.
  • Developing goals and strategic plans and ensuring their implementation.
  • Making difficult decisions to accomplish goals. Developing and implementing procedures for the smooth operation of the unit

2. Campus Citizenship

  • Taking a college and university perspective, helping to meet college and university goals, contributing to the activities of the college and the university.
  • Complying with university policies on, for example, teaching, research, advising, academic freedom, diversity, and academic integrity.

3. Human Resource Management

  • Working effectively with faculty, students, and staff within the unit.
  • Serving as a positive role model for the unit.
  • Supporting the professional development of members of the unit.

4. Communications

  • Communicating information and decisions to members of the unit.
  • Communicating the goals of the unit to internal and external constituencies.
  • Fostering effective shared governance.
  • Keeping lines of communication open among members of the unit.

5. Responding to Work Demands

  • Expending the effort to get the job done.
  • Completing tasks in a timely manner.
  • Responding appropriately to demands from above and below.
  • Responding appropriately to changes or crises.

6. Budgeting and Use of Resources

  • Making budget decisions consistent with the unit's goals.
  • Making effective use of resources.
  • Maintaining fiscal responsibility and developing strategies for promoting greater efficiency.

VI. The Report

The committee shall submit its report to the dean normally within two months of its first meeting. The dean shall provide a copy of the report to the chair or director under review, and shall give the chair or director an opportunity to respond to the report in writing. Should the chair or director choose to respond, that response will be attached to the committee's report as a permanent appendix.

The Dean shall prepare an evaluative report, giving consideration to the internal committee's report and the chair's or director's response. The Dean's evaluative report shall indicate present strengths and weaknesses and shall endorse specific recommendations pertaining to the chair or director. Financial implications and an agenda for implementation may also be a part of the recommendations.

The dean shall then convene a meeting with the chair or director under review to discuss the report and the appropriateness of continuing the chair's or director's appointment for another term. If reappointment is recommended, the dean shall submit to the provost a copy of the report and the chair's or director's response along with a request for approval of the reappointment. The provost's response to the request for reappointment will be transmitted to the dean. Upon notification of the provost's action, the dean shall distribute a summary of the report to the members of the unit. A copy of the dean's letter to the provost, the committee report, and the provost's reply will be kept on file in the Office of Faculty Affairs. If reappointment is not recommended by the dean, the review report will be forwarded to the Office of Faculty Affairs where it will be kept on file.

VII. Review Procedures

The provost shall report to the Senate each year on the number of reviews conducted and any changes in the procedures.

(1) Refer to Section II.2.d of the Revised Senate Plan of Organization for the University of Maryland, College Park, approved by the University Senate on March 6, 2000, amended on May 11, 2000, approved by President C. D. Mote, Jr. on August 28, 2000, and ratified by the campus on September 22, 2000.