The stewardship review process is used for academic leaders with roles that are required to be reviewed every five years by system-wide policy, including but not limited to Department Chairs, ORU Directors, School Deans, and Faculty Administrators (100%).
The purpose of the stewardship review is to evaluate the performance of an individual as an administrator and academic leader. This review is distinct from an academic review of the individual. It is also distinct from a review of the individual’s unit as a whole, except as the accomplishments and programs of the unit reflect the individual’s leadership. The review is intended to provide the reviewee with helpful feedback in becoming more effective in his/her governance and leadership of the unit and to assist those responsible for evaluating the reviewee in making an appropriate assessment.
Questions regarding the stewardship review process can be directed to Sean Passalacqua, Academic Affairs Manager.
Fundamental to the stewardship review is adherence to the following principles:
- Independence: The review is conducted by an ad hoc stewardship review committee (SRC) made up of faculty peers, including at least one head of a similar unit, who hold no direct interest in the outcome of the review. Considerable latitude is afforded to the SRC with respect to the conduct of the review. The SRC’s conclusions and recommendations are read out verbatim directly to the unit.
- Checks and balances: A representative from the Academic Senate Committee on Academic Personnel (CAP) serves on the SRC, and the SRC report is reviewed and assessed independently by CAP. The report is also reviewed and assessed independently by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (VPAA). The outcome of the review is determined at a meeting including the School Dean (if applicable), VPAA, Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost (EVCP), and Chancellor.
- Representative sampling: A survey is disseminated to all members of the unit in order to generate broad-based feedback. The SRC is encouraged to interview a representative sample of the unit (e.g., by series, rank, gender, race, ethnicity, etc.) to ensure that a diversity of viewpoints are captured.
- Confidentiality: Confidentiality is ensured throughout the process to encourage participation and honest feedback. The SRC members and all interview participants sign confidentiality statements. The identity of participants is protected in documents made available to the reviewee, including the survey results and the SRC report.
- Reviewee-centered: The review process is designed to maximize the reviewee’s opportunities to provide input:
- The reviewee is given a minimum of four months to submit review materials, including a self-assessment of the state of the unit.
- The SRC interviews the reviewee at the beginning and end of the interview process. In the first interview, the reviewee is given an opportunity to expound upon his/her self-assessment. In the second interview, the reviewee is given an opportunity to address feedback from the interviews. To assist the reviewee with preparation, the CAP representative will alert the reviewee prior to the final interview to any points of contention that may have arisen during the review.
- The reviewee may submit a rebuttal to the SRC report (if preferred).
- At any point during the process, the reviewee may escalate questions and/or concerns to the VPAA.
The reviewee’s performance is assessed holistically, with an emphasis on the following criteria for evaluation: leadership of education, research and clinical programs; faculty development; financial performance; promotion of diversity; communication/decision-making/conflict resolution; contribution to climate/morale; and relationships with the Campus and the Community.
The stewardship review process is set to a 15-month timeline and can be divided roughly into three periods:
- Preparation (months 0-6): During this period, the candidate is notified regarding the review and prepares/submits the required review materials. The survey is disseminated and the results are collected. The SRC is assembled and their meetings are scheduled.
- SRC Review (months 6-12): During this period, the stewardship review committee reviews the materials, holds its meetings (including interviews with an average of 20-30 individuals over the course of 4-6 half-day blocks), and drafts the report. The report is reviewed and assessed by CAP and then by the VPAA.
- Consultation and Conclusion (months 12-15): The outcome of the review is deliberated and discussed over a series of meetings, which occur as follows:
- Reviewee meets with the VPAA to discuss the SRC report.
- Dean (or EVCP/Chancellor) meets with the VPAA to discuss the SRC report.
- Reviewee meets with the Dean (if applicable), VPAA, EVCP, and Chancellor to discuss the outcome of the review.
- Dean (or EVCP/Chancellor) meets with the unit and reads out verbatim the conclusions and recommendations of the SRC report.
There are five possible outcomes for a stewardship review:
- 5 year renewal, no restrictions: By far, the most common outcome for a completed review.
- 5 year renewal, interim report due at 3 years: Used when there are issues presented that require address prior to the next review. Handled internally by the Dean’s Office.
- 3 year renewal, full report due at 3 years: Used when there are issues presented that require immediate address and are deemed serious enough to require independent evaluation.
- Non-renewal: Used when there are issues presented that are deemed to be unresolvable.
- Step down: At any point during the process, the reviewee may choose to step down. The process is placed on hold while there is deliberation and is stopped once the decision has been communicated.
- Tips for Success
- Prior to review, the reviewee should serve as a member of a SRC for a peer’s review to familiarize oneself with the process and its pitfalls.
- The reviewee should bear in mind that the most serious stewardship review issues tend to relate to communication and climate.
- The reviewee might leverage the process for assistance in uncovering and addressing issues affecting one’s unit.