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Policy Statement and Procedures for Five-Year Review of Deans

Revised 09/15/2020


The University of Illinois Statutes, Article III, Section 3b, states that:

The dean shall be appointed annually by the Board of Trustees on recommendation by the chancellor and the president. On the occasion of each recommendation, the chancellor shall seek the prior advice of the executive committee of the college concerned. The performance of the dean shall be evaluated at least once every five years in a manner to be determined by the college faculty.

In the absence of published guidelines regarding this review, the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs (VCHA) are establishing the following procedures for implementing the required decanal review. The provost oversees the five-year review of the deans reporting to the provost, and the VCHA oversees the five-year review of the deans reporting to the VCHA.

Timing of the Five-year Review

  • The five-year review occurs during the fifth year of service as dean, and every five years thereafter.
  • Service as interim dean will not be counted for purposes of the review.
  • If a dean has been released from decanal duties for at least one year by a major interim appointment outside of the college (e.g. to serve as interim provost, or as interim dean of another college), the provost or VCHA, in consultation with the Chancellor, will offer the dean the option to postpone the fifth-year review by one year.
  • The provost or VCHA will notify the dean in writing of the upcoming review by July 15th preceding the review year.
  • The Dean’s self-evaluation will be due on or before November 1st of the review year. The self-evaluation should consist of a reflective analysis of the past five years including but not limited to a discussion on: successes, challenges and goals obtained or not.  The Activities of a Dean document should be addressed in this reflection.  The reflection should then include a discussion of goals planned for the next five years, if a reappointment is desired.

Appointing the Review Committee

The Statutes of the University of Illinois state that the college determines the manner of the five-year review.  Traditionally, the College’s elected executive committee conducts the review on behalf of the college’s faculty, but this is not required by the statutes.  College bylaws may determine aspects of the review and should be consulted.

  • The provost or VCHA  will send a letter to the members of the executive committee before the first day of the fall semester of the review year alerting them to the review and asking them to designate either themselves or arrange for another elected college committee to undertake the review.  This document will henceforth refer to the designated committee as the reviewing committee.
  • The provost or VCHA will meet with the reviewing committee before October 1st of the dean’s review year to deliver the charge.   The verbal charge may be accompanied by a written charge.  The charge will include:
    • A deadline to complete its work and submit a report to the Provost or VCHA.  That deadline will be no later than February 15th of the spring semester of the same academic year.
    • Distribution of the document “Activities of a Dean,” (revised July 2016).
    • Discussion of requirements of college bylaws affecting the review.
    • Discussion of the review process and the content of the report.
  • After meeting with the provost or VCHA, the reviewing committee will elect a chair and determine how the review will be conducted.[1]

Review Process and Content of the Report

The reviewing committee is responsible for a thorough and fair review of the dean. The final report of the reviewing committee is advisory to the provost or VCHA.  It is transmitted directly to the provost or VCHA and is not reviewed by anyone outside of the reviewing committee.  Its contents are confidential.  Individuals cited or quoted in the report should not be personally identifiable (see “Confidentiality” below). The content of the report, though not necessarily the report itself, will be shared with the dean by the provost or VCHA.

It is strongly recommended that the reviewing committee include the following sources as part of its review and final report:

  • Surveys of faculty, department heads/chairs/directors, associate deans, staff (academic and civil service) and students. The office of the provost or VCHA will cover reasonable expenses related to the development and administering of surveys.
    • The survey must be conducted in a manner that ensures professionalism, credibility and anonymity.
    •  There may also be surveys of alumni, external affiliates (e.g. clinical sites, community organizations), UIC deans, peer deans outside of UIC, and other professional leaders in the field.
    • The committee may choose to solicit a written evaluation rather than using a survey instrument in those instances when surveys may be less effective.
  • The dean’s self-evaluation, solicited by the provost or VCHA.
  • Objective measures of the college’s success in the past five years.
  • In some instances an external evaluator may be invited to provide a report as part of the review. External evaluators, if engaged, are chosen by the reviewers in consultation with the provost or VCHA.

The review committee’s final report will include:

  • An analysis of the dean’s performance in terms of strengths and weaknesses.
  • An analysis of the success of the college over the past 5 years
  • Other relevant indicators requested by the provost or VCHA
  • Other information or recommendations relevant to evaluating the dean

The provost or VCHA retains the right to redact or change portions of the report to ensure confidentiality of the sources.

The office of the provost or VCHA will have staff available to the reviewing committee as needed to assist with the review.

Reasonable costs of conducting the review are paid by the provost or VCHA.  These include the survey fees, mailing expenses, travel and honoraria for external reviewers, and travel of reviewers to regional sites, if applicable.

Final Report

After receiving the committee’s written report the provost or VCHA will arrange a meeting with the reviewing committee to discuss it.  The provost or VCHA will then meet with the dean to discuss the report.  The dean retains the right to respond to the report in writing, which will be included in the dean’s personnel file with the report.

After considering all input resulting from the review, the provost or VCHA will notify the dean directly of any action to be taken in response to the review. The provost or VCHA wil then communicate the decision to the campus. The provost or VCHA shall make every effort to ensure that any action, including reappointment or termination, be communicated to the dean by April 1st of the review year.


Confidentiality is essential to the review process. Information learned by committee members from any source about the performance of the dean is confidential and should not be discussed with anyone outside of the reviewing committee.

Given that the dean and others may read the entire report or sections of it, the reviewers should do everything possible to assure that parties who are quoted or cited in the report are not identified or identifiable by context.


[1] The University of Illinois Statutes, Article III, Section 2f, states that

While the executive committee is in session to prepare its advice on appointment of the dean or to review the dean’s performance, the dean shall not be a member and the committee shall be chaired by a committee member elected by the committee for that purpose.


Policy Statement and Procedures for Five-Year Review of Deans (pdf)