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Report of the Boulder Faculty Assembly Administrator Appraisal Committee [1]
Concerning David Getches, Dean, School of Law, University of Colorado at Boulder
Third-Year Review, Fall of 2005

DESIGN OF THE SURVEY

The Administrator Appraisal Program (AAP) seeks to provide in-depth feedback based on a high rate of faculty response to assure a representative survey of the faculty. Faculty members have the opportunity to provide AAP feedback to the review/reappointment process when the president, chancellor, provost, or the dean of their school or college is undergoing the third- or fifth-year review. Faculty members also are requested to complete and return a "BFA Satisfaction Survey" that addresses campus-wide concerns such as salary and benefit programs. With regard to the appraisal of administrators, the survey contains questions addressing the effectiveness of each administrator's performance in key areas. Various questions--such as those addressing general administrative style, salary process, and diversity--are common for all administrators. Responses are solicited using a 5-point effectiveness scale (1 = very ineffective, 3 = effective, and 5 = very effective ). The committee has interpreted the ratings in between as 2 = less than effective, and 4 = more than effective. In addition, the committee includes a "Don't Know" option.

The evaluation process for Dean Getches was designed to take into account the broad scope of faculty across the School of Law. Although some faculty members and administrators have regular opportunities to interact with Dean Getches, some individual faculty members do not, and, therefore, may be less well informed or simply uninformed about many aspects of the dean's performance.

To address the problem of different levels of familiarity, the AAP Committee sent the questionnaire to all School of Law faculty members, and to a selected group of faculty members, termed "knowledgeables", including some from outside the School, thought to be especially likely to be familiar with Dean Getches's work. Thirty-four questionnaires were returned from the faculty as a whole, a response rate of 68%. Fourteen responses were returned from the "knowledgeables", a response rate of 64%.

SURVEY PARTICIPATION

The AAP Committee and the Boulder Faculty Assembly have agreed, on the advice of faculty who specialize in survey methods, that a 60% return rate is needed for a representative statistical study. The response rates for both the whole faculty and the "knowledgeables" met this criterion.

AIMS OF THE AAP EVALUATION

The AAP Committee hopes to provide a developmental picture of strengths and weaknesses for administrators standing for reappointment in AY 2005-2006.

Broadly viewed, the Committee considered four general categories in evaluating responses regarding Dean Getches:

Strengths to Build on represent areas of the administrator's performance that were rated as highly effective by a substantial majority of the faculty (at least 60% of respondents giving a rating of 4 or 5).

Assets to Protect were areas where at least half of the responding faculty found the administrator's performance to be better than effective (50-59% of respondents giving a rating of 4 or 5). Thus, any reallocation of effort to correct weaknesses or changes in priorities should try to protect these strengths.

Issues to be Mindful of were judged to be effective or better by the majority of the respondents, but less than effective by a significant minority of respondents (25-39% of respondents giving a rating of 1 or 2).

Areas that Need Improvement were judged by a significant fraction of the faculty as being unsatisfactory (at least 40% of respondents giving a rating of 1 or 2).

OVERVIEW

On every question at least 67% of all respondents ("knowledgeables", the full faculty, and the combined groups) rated Dean Getches 3, 4, or 5 (that is, effective or very effective). In the total group the median percentage of respondents giving a rating of effective or better across all questions was 90%. In none of the groups did the dean receive a rating that falls in the Needs Improvement.

Strengths to Build on (at least 60% of respondents giving a rating of 4 or 5)

The dean received ratings in this category on 22 of 24 questions from the full faculty and 18 of 24 questions from the "knowledgeable" group.

Both the full faculty and "knowledgeables" samples rated the following 20 issues as strengths:

  • Providing vision, strategic plan
  • Acting with integrity
  • Supporting high-quality teaching
  • Supporting high-quality research
  • Supporting high-quality service
  • Recruiting new faculty
  • Making decisions in a timely fashion
  • Creating an atmosphere of trust
  • Supporting/mentoring assistant professors
  • Supporting continued development of senior faculty
  • Making progress toward diversity goals
  • Being receptive to concerns of faculty
  • Being receptive to concerns of students
  • Treating faculty fairly and inclusively
  • Appropriately involving faculty in decisions
  • Communicating in an effective manner
  • Representing the school on campus
  • Representing the school to external audiences
  • Making sound budget decisions
  • Raising funds

Assets to Protect (50-59% of respondents giving a rating of 4 or 5)

For the full faculty group, one issue, Managing conflicts among staff, fell in this category. For the "knowledgeables", Supporting and improving the quality of the doctoral programand Managing conflicts among faculty were in this range.

Issues to be Mindful of (25-39% of respondents giving a rating of 1 or 2)

For the full faculty one issue, Being receptive to the concerns of staff, fell in this category. For the "knowledgeables" there were two issues: Supporting and improving the quality of doctoral programs and Managing conflicts among faculty. For this group, these two issues also were "Assets to Protect". Hence, the ratings are divided within the "knowledgeables" on these issues.

Areas that Need Improvement (at least 40% of respondents giving a rating of 1 or 2)

No areas were found in either group.

THE BFA SATISFACTION SURVEY RESULTS

The BFA also asked the respondents in the School of Law to complete a satisfaction survey that asked 20 questions about their satisfaction with the general level of university support. The number of respondents was 36 out of 62 surveyed, a response rate of 58%.

The Satisfaction Survey indicated four "Areas of Strength":

  • Teaching responsibilities
  • Relationship with colleagues.
  • Library access to outside resources
  • Education and training support offered by the library

Two areas appear as "Assets":

  • University support for research and creative work
  • Faculty governance/progress in shared governance

There are three "Issues to be Mindful of":

  • Departmental support services
  • Benefits other than health, including retirement
  • Evaluation of teaching

There are nine areas "In Need of Improvement":

  • Classroom facilities
  • Technological support for teaching
  • Number of graduate teaching assistants
  • Space and facilities
  • Involvement of faculty in library holdings decisions
  • Salary compared with peer institutions
  • Equitable distribution of salaries
  • Current health plan
  • University efforts to retain diverse undergrads

Overall, there is considerable dissatisfaction with facilities, salaries, benefits, and some services. There also are indications of serious dissatisfaction with the "difficult problem" of University efforts to improve the diversity climate on this campus.

CONCLUSIONS

Dean Getches was rated on twenty-four performance measures. He was rated very highly by the School of Law faculty members. There were only three issues to be mindful of, and no issues as needing improvement. The three issues to be mindful of were Being receptive to the concerns of staff, Supporting and improving the quality of the doctoral program, and Managing conflicts among faculty.

The Administrator Appraisal Program Committee concludes that Dean Getches has achieved a very high degree of satisfaction with his leadership of the School of Law as expressed by the responses to the survey questionnaire.


[1] The members of the committee are: Sedat Biringen, Paul Erhard, Lawrence Frey, Ken Iwamasa, Richard Laver, Clayton Lewis, Uriel Nauenberg (chair), Lynn Ross-Bryant, Jeff Schiel, Robert Schulzinger, Daniel Sher.

 
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