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Report of the Boulder Faculty Assembly Administrator Appraisal Committee [1]
Concerning Lorrie A. Shepard, Dean, School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder
Fifth-Year Comprehensive Review, Fall of 2005


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 surveys contain 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 Shepard was designed to take into account the broad scope of faculty across the school. Although some faculty members and administrators have regular opportunities to interact with Dean Shepard, some individual faculty members do not, and, therefore, may be less well informed or simply uninformed about many aspects of the dean’s performance.

In an attempt to address the problem of different levels of familiarity, the AAP Committee sent the questionnaire to all School of Education faculty members, and to a selected group of faculty members, termed "knowledgeables", thought to be especially likely to be familiar with Dean Shepard’s work. Thirty-four responses were returned from the faculty, a response rate of 71%. Nine responses were returned from the "knowledgeables", a response rate of 90%.


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.


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 Shepard:

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


On every question except one, at least 75% of all respondents ("knowledgeables", the full faculty, and the combined groups) rated Dean Shepard 3, 4, or 5 (that is, effective or very effective); on one question, this percentage was 64, Managing conflicts among staff . In the total group, the median percentage of respondents giving a rating of effective or better across all questions was 89%. 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 the same 23 of 25 questions by both the "knowledgeables" and full faculty groups. The following issues fall under the "strength to build on" category:

  • Providing vision, strategic plan
  • Acting with integrity
  • Supporting/improving quality of teacher preparation
  • Supporting/improving quality of doctoral programs
  • 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 staff
  • 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 both the full faculty group (50%) and the "knowledgeables" (57%) one issue, Managing conflicts among faculty fell in this category.

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

For both the full faculty group (36%) and the "knowledgeables" (25%), one issue, Managing conflicts among staff fell in this category.

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

No issues belonging to this category were identified by either group of respondents.


The BFA also asked the respondents in the School of Education to complete a satisfaction survey that asked 20 questions about the general level of university support. The number of respondents was 31 out of 48 surveyed, a response rate of 65%.

The Satisfaction Survey indicated seven "Areas of Strength":

  • Teaching responsibilities
  • Number of graduate students assisting in teaching
  • Departmental support services
  • Relationship with colleagues
  • Involve faculty in library holdings decisions
  • Library access to outside resources
  • Educational 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 four "Issues to be Mindful of":

  • Classroom facilities
  • Technological support for teaching
  • Benefits other than health, including retirement
  • University efforts to recruit/train diverse faculty

There are five "Areas in Need of Improvement":

  • Support for soliciting outside money
  • Space and facilities
  • Salary compared with peer institutions
  • Current health plan
  • University efforts to retain diverse undergraduates

Overall, there is considerable dissatisfaction with facilities, salaries, and 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


Dean Shepard was rated on twenty-five performance measures. She was rated very highly by the School of Education faculty members. There was only one issue to be mindful of and no issues in need of improvement. The issue to be mindful of was managing conflicts among staff.

The Administrator Appraisal Program Committee concludes that Dean Shepard has achieved a very high degree of satisfaction with her leadership of the School of Education 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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