Faculty have the right to expect a high level of administrative performance, and the principal reason for evaluating the performance of chairpersons [and Center Directors who supervise faculty] is to help ensure that this expectation is being met at the department level. According to the Handbook (3-25), "The Chairperson serves at the pleasure of the Dean and the Department faculty," and both are to take part in his/her evaluation. The expressed purpose of the evaluation, according to the Handbook, is to study "the retention of a chairperson," but it is logical to assume that the purpose must extend beyond that. Even the most effective and conscientious administrator can improve, and another important purpose of the evaluation must surely be to facilitate that improvement.
The Handbook also outlines in the broadest terms the frequency with which and means by which such an evaluation is to be carried out: "An evaluation of the performance of the Department Chairperson will be conducted triennially by the Dean, in accord with rules and procedures prescribed and established by the Dean, based on consultation with the Chairperson and the Department faculty; and the Dean will weigh and balance the several principles cited above [on page 3-25] in his/her decision regarding the retention of the Chairperson." Moreover, should the Dean feel that a review prior to the passage of three years would be desirable, "the Dean has the authority to call for an evaluation of the performance of the Chairperson at any time the Dean believes it is necessary" (3-26). The only other thing the Handbook has to say on the subject of an evaluation not triggered by a faculty petition (on that subject, see 3-27) is that, "when there is disagreement between the Department faculty and the Dean on the retention of a chairperson, the decision-making authority on the matter rests with the President, based on the reports and recommendations of the Department faculty, Dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs" (3-25).
What follows is a proposal, in simple outline form, for the procedures which the Handbook mandates that the Dean "prescribe and establish":