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CAS Chairperson Review Procedures

Procedures for Evaluating Chairpersons 
College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana State University
Approved by Faculty Council, January 18, 2017
Revised January 2023


Faculty have the right to expect a high level of administrative performance, and an important 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.

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 effective and conscientious administrators 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. According to section 350.1.1, “Chairpersons are appointed for 3-year terms and may be reappointed upon favorable evaluation”. Furthermore, according to section 350.4.1, “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 departmental faculty, in accordance with rules and procedures prescribed and established by the college/library. The Dean will weigh and balance the several principles cited above [in section 350.2] in his/her decision regarding the retention of the Chairperson. The dean has the authority to call for an evaluation of the performance of the chairperson at any time the Dean determines it is necessary."

For an evaluation not triggered by a contingent of department members (faculty, staff, or students; see 350.4.3.1), the Handbook states 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" (Section 350.4.2).

What follows is an outline of the procedures to be used for evaluating chairpersons within the College of Arts and Sciences.


  1. At the beginning of the academic year in which the Chairperson is to be reviewed, the Dean will communicate to the Chairperson and faculty that a review is to take place and shall suggest dates when each part of the process should be completed. Note that chairperson reviews for different departments may be staggered to occur in different parts of the year.
  2. In consultation with the Dean, the Department Personnel Committee will appoint and convene a Chairperson Review Committee. Insofar as possible, the composition of the Review Committee should be balanced for scope of curricular offerings, academic rank, gender, and race/ethnic origin. Instructors, lecturers and staff should be given the opportunity to be represented on the Review Committee but should not be compelled to serve, unless such service is part of an agreed-upon release from other duties.
  3. The Review Committee may suggest adjustments to the dates for each part of the review process to be completed.
  4. The Dean shall communicate with the department faculty, informing them of the membership of the Review Committee, the evaluation procedures, and the dates when each part of the process should be completed.
  5. If he/she wishes, the Chairperson may submit to the Review Committee a curriculum vita and brief executive summary of the current state of the Department, accomplishments in his/her previous term as chairperson, and vision for the next term.
  6. A questionnaire shall be distributed to all regular faculty, temporary faculty, staff, and anyone who reports to the Chairperson. The Dean’s Core Questionnaire shall form the basis of the questionnaire. The Review Committee shall have the right to add any additional questions of its choosing.
  7. The Review Committee shall receive the completed questionnaires and prepare a written report which includes the tabulated results, an analysis of the Chairperson’s strengths and weaknesses, and any suggestions for improvement. The Committee’s report shall be shared with all regular faculty, temporary faculty, and staff in the Department. Once the Review Committee’s report is discussed and approved by department faculty, it shall be submitted to the Dean together with the department faculty’s recommendation on the Chairperson’s reappointment or non-reappointment. To facilitate confidentiality, raw data from individual questionnaire responses should not be included in the report but shall remain at the Dean’s office.
  8. The Dean will then share the review report and departmental recommendation with the department Chairperson.  The Chairperson is given five working days to submit a response, if he/she wishes to do so. The response is submitted to the Dean and shared with all regular faculty, temporary faculty, staff, and anyone who reports to the Chairperson.
  9.  The Dean shall meet with the Review Committee to discuss the report and any response from the Chairperson. The Dean may incorporate elements of the Review Committee report as well as any response from the Chairperson to write his/her own assessment of the Chairperson. The Dean may also solicit input from outside of the department as needed. The Dean shall meet with the Chairperson to discuss his/her performance.
  10. The Dean shall report both his/her recommendation on reappointment/non-reappointment and that of the faculty to the faculty and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.  The Dean’s recommendation shall be shared with the department’s regular faculty, temporary faculty, staff, and anyone who reports to the Chairperson.

This set of procedures is designed to maximize involvement of faculty and staff in the review process by guaranteeing the opportunity to respond individually through the questionnaire and collectively through the Chairperson Review Committee. The purpose of this evaluation is to provide feedback from a variety of perspectives and does not preclude any other departmental evaluation of the Chairperson's performance.

Chairperson Evaluation: Dean’s Core Questionnaire

This set of questions shall form the basis of a questionnaire used in the evaluation of chairpersons within the College of Arts and Sciences. The department Chairperson Review Committee may add additional questions to those here, but may not remove questions from this Core Questionnaire.

Each of the questions 1-10 shall be answered on a scale from 1 Strongly Disagree to 5 Strongly Agree, with an option for No Informed Opinion. Space shall be left after each question for comments. Respondents are encouraged to utilize the No Informed Opinion selection for questions for which the respondent has no direct knowledge.

1. Chairperson collaborates well with other academic units.

2. Chairperson collaborates well with non-academic units.

3. Chairperson efficiently manages the departmental office.

4. Chairperson effectively manages departmental resources.

5. Chairperson effectively facilitates assessment of department programs.

6. Chairperson regularly consults with faculty/staff.

7. Chairperson is effective at advocating for departmental needs.

8. Chairperson communicates effectively with faculty/staff.

9. Chairperson effectively supports faculty development efforts.

10. Chairperson handles personnel matters effectively and equitably.

Do you support keeping your chairperson in the role as chairperson? YES/NO

November, 1988

September 2015

January 2023