The University of Arizona logo

Five-Year Reviews of Administrative Personnel

Policy Information

PDF version
Last Revised Date: 
August, 2016
Policy Number: 
UHAP 5.3
Responsible Unit: 
Faculty Affairs


This Section describes the criteria and process for five-year reviews of department heads, school directors, deans, vice provosts, and vice presidents, including senior vice provosts and senior vice presidents, and other administrators as that term is defined in ABOR PM 6.101.B.3a. Such reviews follow a more comprehensive process for performance assessment than annual performance reviews in order to provide an opportunity to assess long-range goals and objectives. Such reviews appropriately take into consideration the progress of the unit over the period reviewed, and the role of the administrator in this development. These reviews focus on the performance of the individual administrator and are distinct from academic program reviews. The five-year review evaluates administrators on their leadership in developing collaborations and managing resources to build capacity and advance innovation based upon criteria established by the University, feedback from the administrator's supervisor, and input from those with whom the administrator works. A five-year review is not required nor anticipated if an administrator will not be renewed in accordance with the process outlined in Section 5.4.

5.3.01 Review Criteria

Five-year reviews of heads, directors, deans, and other designated administrators are guided by a set of administrative expectations to help focus and standardize the review process. Performance metrics are utilized to align assessments of administrators with the progress of their units and to base assessments on actual performance.

The review will also include, but not be limited to, an assessment of the performance of the administrator in the following areas, drawing upon written input from appropriate personnel, including faculty, staff, and students, where appropriate:

  1. Building trust by communicating a guiding vision, operating in an ethical manner, being accessible and responsive, maintaining composure, and acknowledging the lessons to be learned from missteps;
  2. Fostering collaboration by effectively managing conflicts, forging partnerships and advancing shared purposes in a manner that includes diverse perspectives in collaborative decision making;
  3. Maximizing resources by recruiting and retaining high quality coworkers, helping them develop through coaching and assessment, improving operational effectiveness, and advancing data-based planning;
  4. Achieving results by identifying opportunities, challenging received assumptions, taking strategic risks, and advancing innovations in a decisive and strategic manner that is attuned to the priorities of the unit and university.

When a designated administrator has successfully completed five years of service in that position, the University will conduct a five-year review reflecting the work of the administrator over the past five-year period. The President, Provost, or appropriate vice president will initiate this review of deans and vice presidents. Deans will initiate this review for heads and directors.

5.3.02 Appointment of Five-Year Review Committees

The supervising administrator conducting a five-year review of an administrator will appoint a review committee made up of individuals from diverse backgrounds. In recognition of the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations, review committees will include a balance of faculty, staff, and students from the administrator's unit and from related units, as well as representatives from community collaborators. The following process will be used for appointing five-year review committees:

  1. When a dean is to be reviewed, the general faculty of the college will nominate at least eight tenure- and nontenure-track faculty and continuing status professionals to serve on the review committee, including at least two faculty members from outside the college. These nominees should include nontenure-track faculty and continuing status professionals and come from varied programs and ranks. The Provost or appropriate vice president will appoint at least four of those nominated to serve on the review committee. These nominees will comprise half of the review committee as specified in the Guidelines for Shared Governance Memorandum of Understanding. In addition, the Provost or appropriate vice president may also appoint additional faculty members, continuing-eligible, or continuing status academic professional employees, from the college involved or elsewhere, along with representatives from the following groups: students, classified staff, and academic or service professional employees, or community representatives. If the college has departments, at least one member of the review committee will be a department head in the college.

  2. When an academic department head is to be reviewed, the general faculty of the department will select at least four faculty members to serve on the review committee, including at least one faculty member from outside the unit. These nominees should include nontenure-track faculty and continuing status professionals and come from varied programs and ranks. These nominees will comprise half of the review committee as specified in the Guidelines for Shared Governance Memorandum of Understanding. The dean has the discretion to appoint up to two additional general faculty members from the department involved or elsewhere and to appoint others from the following groups: students, classified staff, and professionals or community representatives. Five-year reviews of nonacademic program directors will also include broad representation of staff, appointed professionals, and constituent groups who are consulted on the selection of their representatives.

  3. When a vice provost or vice president is to be reviewed, the administrator's supervisor will form review committees in consultation with elected faculty leaders and/or faculty committees and groups representing staff and students, as appropriate.

  4. The supervising administrator will select the chairperson of the review committee from the committee membership.

5.3.03 Five-Year Review Process for Administrative Personnel

Five-year reviews should be completed within a single semester when possible. Supervising administrators will schedule reviews so that they do not unduly burden or disrupt ongoing activities in the unit by conducting multiple reviews at the same time. Review committees will use resources such as University survey and report templates to enable such committees to focus their time on substantive issues. All communications with the committee shall be confidential and be treated accordingly. The committee shall not divulge or otherwise reveal the source of any communications.

The five-year review process will include each of the following steps:

  1. The supervising administrator will provide written notice to the administrator to be reviewed and form the review committee, when possible, in the semester before the five-year review is to be completed. Using the criteria, performance benchmarks, and annual performance reviews preceding the five-year review as points of reference, the administrator being reviewed will write a self-assessment reflecting upon the objectives, achievements, and challenges faced during the previous five years. This self-assessment will be provided to the supervising administrator within 30 days of the notice of the review. This self-assessment will be shared with the review committee and with faculty and staff in the unit.

  2. At the beginning of the semester when the review is to be conducted, the supervising administrator will provide the self-assessment to the review committee and direct that committee in writing to conduct a review of the administrator. A copy of this directive will also be sent to the administrator under review. Drawing on the review criteria set forth in Section 5.3.01, the review will be based on a description of the duties and objectives of the position, the assessments of the administrator, and the unit's strategic priorities and performance expectations.

  3. During the first three weeks after receiving its directive, if schedules permit, the review committee will meet with the administrator under review to discuss the administrator's role in the review process and to gather any information and perspectives that the administrator would like to provide that have not been provided by the self-assessment prepared for the review committee.

  4. The review committee will solicit information through a standard survey questionnaire, which will be distributed to all faculty and other employees in the unit, students, collaborators, and other stakeholders. During this information-gathering period, the review committee will announce that committee members are available to meet with individual faculty, academic professionals, staff, students, and alumni or community groups if appropriate. Public forums may also be held with these groups.

  5. Results of the surveys and questionnaires will be tabulated and attached to the report that the review committee will submit within 120 days of receiving its written directive if possible. The report will (a) describe briefly the procedures used to gather information, (b) discuss important issues identified in the course of the review, and (c) present the conclusions reached by the review committee, including strengths and weaknesses of the administrator being reviewed. The report will not disclose the source or content of the communications it receives nor will it contain any confidential supporting material.

  6. The supervising administrator will review the written report along with the self-assessment prepared by the administrator under review. The supervising administrator may develop additional information bearing on the performance and effectiveness of the administrator under review. After meeting with the review committee and developing any further information deemed appropriate, the supervising administrator will give the administrator under review the report as well as any other relevant information developed by the supervising administrator no later than 30 days after the supervising administrator receives the report or otherwise concludes the review of any additional information sought. The administrator being reviewed may submit a written response to the review within 10 days of receiving it. The administrator being reviewed may appeal the review to the supervising administrator’s immediate superior following the grievance procedures in UHAP 6.02.

  7. Following upon the previous steps, the initiating administrator will report on the process and the major findings of the review to the faculty and staff in the administrator's unit, generally in an open forum intended to provide the administrator being reviewed with an opportunity to discuss lessons learned and future directions. When the administrator under review has broader institutional responsibilities, relevant stakeholders will be invited to the initiating administrator's report.

  8. The administrator under review will discuss the results of the review with all personnel in their unit and other appropriate stakeholders and will emphasize what was learned in relation to the strategic and professional goals that have been established for the future.

  9. At the conclusion of the process, the initiating administrator will provide a copy of the review committee's report and the initiating administrator's evaluation and comments to the administrator's supervisor.

5.3.04 Extraordinary Reviews of an Administrator in Academic Units

In unusual circumstances, the faculty of a college or department or a supervising administrator may wish to initiate a review of a designated administrator prior to the next scheduled five-year review. In such a situation, the following will apply:

  1. An extraordinary review will be initiated if one-half or more of the general faculty of the administrator's unit submit a signed petition calling for an extraordinary review of a dean, department head, or designated administrator to the individual's supervising administrator, outlining the justification for holding an extraordinary review. The anonymity of the petitioners will be protected. Petitions may be submitted to the individual’s supervising administrator or to the Chair of the Faculty.

  2. The extraordinary review will not replace the next five-year review unless that extraordinary review occurs within 18 months of a scheduled five-year review. Generally, no more than one extraordinary review of an administrator may occur within a single five-year cycle. An extraordinary review generally will not occur sooner than two years following a five-year review.

  3. Extraordinary reviews will be conducted in the same manner as a five-year review of an administrator.

Related Information*

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs website, Administrative Reviews

Revision History*

10/04/2023: Updated to reflect gender neutral pronouns.

Revisions approved August 23, 2016

July 2014

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Sources, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

Feedback for this Policy

We want to respond to your policy inquiries as quickly and efficiently as possible.

For questions or comments regarding a particular policy or to notify us of broken links or typographical errors, please provide this information below.

Please Note:

Policy feedback is available to the Policy Office, Policy Sponsor, and elected shared governance representatives, upon request, for policies impacting the populations they represent.

To prevent automated spam submissions, please answer the challenge below.