The Process Step by Step
At Ohio State, deans are appointed to five-year terms. Early in the fourth year a dean expresses interest in reappointment during a meeting with the provost and, in the case of deans in the health sciences colleges, the executive vice president of health sciences. If the dean wishes to be reappointed, the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) initiates a review process, typically a year in advance. The vice provost for academic and strategic planning leads the review.
In collaboration with a dean who wishes to be reappointed, OAA appoints a review committee made up of three senior faculty members from the dean’s college or campus, a dean from another college or campus, and a vice provost.
A list of external reviewers who can comment on the dean’s accomplishments and standing is developed. Some of the referees are suggested by the dean, others are added by OAA. Letters from these reviewers are solicited.
The dean posts a self-assessment on the college or campus website.
The Office of Institutional Research (IRP) conducts a survey of the college or campus’s faculty and staff and university administrators. For regional campuses, board members are also surveyed. The results are processed by IRP to show trends. Redactions are done, as necessary, to assure anonymity.
During its review, the committee considers the following evidence:
- the college or campus’s strategic plan;
- the dean’s self-assessment;
- the external letters;
- culture/climate survey results as well as financial and diversity profiles, developed—respectively—by IRP; the Offices of Academic Affairs and Business and Finance, together with the college or regional campus’s senior fiscal officer; and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; and
- the faculty/staff/administrators survey results.
The committee meets with college/campus leadership—without the dean—to get the perspectives of those who work most closely with the dean. It also meets with the dean to discuss college/campus strategic indicators and action plans, the self-assessment, and the survey results.
In light of all input, the committee finalizes the reappointment review report, which is shared with the provost and, in the case of a health sciences dean, with the executive vice president of health sciences as well.
The provost (and the executive vice president of health sciences for a health sciences dean) meets with the dean and makes a decision about reappointment. The committee makes an informed recommendation to the provost, but it is the provost’s prerogative to reappoint, or not.
Reappointment reviews typically take six months to complete. The dean undergoing review and the faculty and staff in the college/campus are kept apprised of progress throughout the process. A more detailed overview of the process used is available.