Policy Number: I-6.00(D)
University of Maryland Policy on the Review of Directors of Academic or Research-Based Centers and Institutes
(Approved by the President )
The administrative performance of Directors of academic or research-based Centers or Institutes shall be subject to recurrent, formal, and comprehensive review. The purpose of the review is to evaluate how well the Director is fulfilling their administrative responsibilities and whether they have been ensuring the long-term success of the Center or Institute. The review process seeks to provide constructive recommendations for improving the Director’s performance and supporting their continued professional development.
- “Academic Director” means the head of a School within a College, who is equivalent to a Department Chair.
- “Approval Authority” means the administrator or administrators with authority and oversight of the review of academic or research-based Center or Institute Directors. Depending on the level at which the entity operates, the Approval Authority may be a Department Chair, Dean, multiple Deans, the Vice President for Research, the Senior Vice President and Provost, or the President.
- “Center” means an academic and/or research-based entity, which engages faculty, staff, and/or students in areas of specialized focus within one Unit or across multiple Units. A Center may be affiliated with an external agency and/or laboratory.
- “Department Chair” means the head of an academic department.
- “Director” means the head of an academic and/or research-based Center or Institute.
- “Institute” means an academic and/or research-based entity with prominence and stature that is typically intended to have a level of permanence similar to that of an academic department. Institutes engage faculty, staff, and/or students in areas of specialized focus within a College, across multiple Colleges, or University-wide. An Institute may be affiliated with an external agency and/or laboratory.
- “Unit” means an academic and/or research-based Center, Institute, Department, College or School, or Division.
- “Unit Head” means the administrator or administrators responsible for a Unit and the individual(s) to whom the Director reports. A Unit Head may be an Institute Director, Academic Director, Department Chair, Dean, multiple Deans, the Vice President for Research, or the Senior Vice President and Provost.
- This Policy applies to the review of Directors of academic and/or research-based Centers or Institutes. The review of Department Chairs and Academic Directors is covered by the University of Maryland Policy on the Review of Department Chairs and Directors of Academic Units (I-6.00[C]).
- A Director whose appointment is expected to be considered for continuation shall undergo a periodic and comprehensive review.
- A Director may request a review even if they are not contemplating a continuation of their appointment.
- The review should normally occur at the beginning of the last year of the Director’s current appointment, or every five (5) years in cases where the term of the appointment is indefinite.
- A Unit Head may initiate a review earlier, if deemed appropriate.
- A Unit Head may initiate a review earlier, if deemed appropriate.
IV. Review Process
- The Unit Head will establish the timeline for the review and the review process should generally be completed within six (6) months.
- The Unit Head will appoint a representative review committee including faculty, staff, and students that reflects the diversity goals of the University. The Unit Head should consult appropriately before appointing members to the review committee.
- The Unit Head will charge the review committee with developing evaluative criteria appropriate to the mission of the Unit, conducting the review, and submitting its findings in a written report.
- Reviews must include an assessment of the following major components:
- How well the Director is fulfilling their administrative responsibilities based on those articulated at the time of appointment;
- Consideration of the Director’s role in the long-term viability of the Center or Institute;
- How the Director’s leadership has impacted the Center or Institute’s progress in meeting its benchmarks and metrics for success;
- Input from faculty, staff, and students associated with the Center or Institute;
- Input from the Director being reviewed;
- Input from external stakeholders, as appropriate; and
- Constructive recommendations for continued success.
- The Unit Head may specify additional components and/or additional steps in the review process, as appropriate to the size and structure of the entity that the Director leads.
- Components of external funding agency reviews of Directors may be used to fulfill elements of the University review process, when authorized by the Unit Head.
V. Assessment Following the Review Process
- A decision about whether the appointment will be continued will be formally considered upon the completion of the review process.
- The Unit Head will begin by considering the review committee’s report and providing a copy of the report to the Director under review.
- The Unit Head will give the Director an opportunity to respond to the report in writing. If the Director chooses to respond, that response will be attached to the review committee's report as a permanent appendix.
- The Unit Head will develop an evaluative report, giving consideration to the review committee's report and the Director's response.
- The evaluative report should indicate the Director’s present strengths and weaknesses and shall endorse specific recommendations regarding professional development, continuation of the appointment, or other relevant matters pertaining to the Director for the Approval Authority’s consideration.
- Financial implications and an agenda for implementation may also be a part of the recommendations in the evaluative report.
- The Unit Head shall then convene a meeting with the Director under review to discuss the evaluative report and the appropriateness of continuing the Director's appointment for another term.
VI. Final Outcome
- The Unit Head will assess whether the Director should be reappointed and will make a request for reappointment to the Approval Authority, if appropriate.
- If reappointment is recommended, the Unit Head shall submit a copy of the review committee’s report and the evaluative report to the Approval Authority.
- If reappointment is not recommended by the Unit Head, the Director should be informed of the Unit Head’s decision and the review committee’s report should be forwarded to the Approval Authority and the Office of Faculty Affairs, where it will be kept on file.
- The external funding agency or affiliated laboratory associated with the entity should be notified of the Unit Head’s decision regarding the Director’s appointment.
- The Approval Authority will make a final determination regarding actions following the review process.
- The Approval Authority will consider the Unit Head’s evaluative report and the review committee’s report when making a final determination on the request for reappointment.
- The Approval Authority’s decision on the request for reappointment will be transmitted to the Unit Head.
- Upon notification of the Approval Authority’s decision to approve the request for reappointment, the Unit Head will inform the Director of the decision and will distribute a summary of the review committee’s report to the members of the Unit. A copy of the Unit Head’s letter to the Approval Authority, the review committee’s report, and the Approval Authority's reply will be kept on file in the Office of Faculty Affairs.
- If reappointment is not recommended by the Approval Authority, the Director should be informed of the decision and the review committee’s report should be forwarded to the Unit Head and the Office of Faculty Affairs, where it will be kept on file.
- The external funding agency or affiliated laboratory associated with the entity should be notified of the Approval Authority’s decision regarding the Director’s appointment.
- In cases where the Director is not reappointed to their role, the Approval Authority should work with the Unit Head to:
- Appoint an interim Director and follow any external entity guidelines to initiate a search to identify a permanent replacement to serve as Director of the entity; and
- Guide externally-funded entities through the transition to a new Director and any potential shifts in funding or any other terms of the externally-funded entity.