R209, Evaluation of Presidents

R209, Evaluation of Presidents

R209-1.Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for the comprehensive and formal evaluation of the performance of each president in the Utah System of Higher Education in order to ensure high quality education at each institution. These procedures are designed to assess the quality of the president’s administrative performance within the context of the institution’s mission, vision, strategic goals, and in fulfillment of his or her presidential charge. The comprehensive evaluation process is intended to reflect the full scope of administrative duties expected of the president, and to provide meaningful, substantive feedback from key constituents, e.g., colleagues, members of the institutional Board of Trustees, Regents, and leaders in the community, regarding the president’s efforts and areas of strength as well as the areas that need improvement.


2.1. Utah Code §53B-2-102 (Board to Appoint President of Each Institution)

2.2. Policy and Procedures R120, Bylaws; 3.3.3., Institutional Governance and Administration

2.3. Policy and Procedures R208, Resource and Review Teams


3.1. Commissioner: the Commissioner of Higher Education.

3.2. Institution: for evaluations of presidents this refers to the college or university for which the president is the chief executive officer. For evaluation of the Commissioner this refers to the Office of the Commissioner and Board of Regents.

3.3. President: the chief executive officer of each college or university within the Utah System of Higher Education.


4.1. Comprehensive Evaluation: The performance of each president will be comprehensively evaluated following the first year of his or her tenure (during year 2) and every four years thereafter (during years 6 and 10). The evaluations under this policy shall occur in the spring in lieu of the spring review under R208. The Regents or the president may request a comprehensive evaluation at a shorter interval.

4.2. Resource and Review Team Assessment: The performance of each president will be assessed annually by a Resource and Review Team, as provided in Regents’ Policy R208. During the year of comprehensive evaluation, the Resource and Review Team shall conduct a more limited spring review, i.e. not meet with members of the President’s cabinet, for the purposes of compensation adjustments per R205 (Presidential Appointment, Term of Office, and Compensation and Benefits) and  participate in the fall meeting. The Resource and Review Team may meet with the president throughout the year by mutual agreement with the president. The information and reports gathered by the Resource and Review Team will be made available to the Evaluation Committee.

4.3. Guidelines for Evaluation: The comprehensive evaluation required by this policy shall adhere to the following guidelines in order to make the evaluation process fair, meaningful, and effective:

4.3.1. Objectivity: Objectivity extends to the criteria to be assessed, the process for the completion of the evaluation, and the selection of persons who will participate in the evaluation.

4.3.2. Clearly-defined criteria that relate to the institution’s missions and goals: The criteria for evaluation must encompass an appropriate scope. The criteria shall include outcome standards that relate the actions of the individual to the mission and goals of the institution as well as process criteria that describe the critical behaviors of effective leaders.

4.3.3. Meaningful evaluation: Appraisal of an individual’s job performance should be made only by those in a position to observe that performance. Opinions concerning the president’s performance will be limited to those faculty, students, staff, and others in positions that afford them enough interaction with the president to make meaningful judgments.

4.3.4. Well-planned schedule of implementation: A timetable for evaluation will be utilized in order to provide an adequate period for data collection, review, and feedback.

4.3.5. Clear policy for reporting and use: An Evaluation Committee will carry out the evaluation, and the results of each evaluation are to be shared with the president. The results of the evaluation shall remain confidential. Documentation that the evaluation has taken place will be maintained for accreditation records.

4.3.6. Opportunity for response and self-assessment: By engaging in the planning for the performance evaluation, i.e., the setting of performance goals, the presentation of evidence related to the attainment of those goals, and discussion of the performance plan with the Evaluation Committee, each president will have the opportunity to complete a self-assessment and provide a response to the evaluation.

4.3.7. Review of the evaluation process: The evaluation process outlined herein must be periodically reviewed and revised as necessary.


 5.1. Evaluation Committee

 5.1.1. Composition of Evaluation Committee: The evaluation will be conducted by an Evaluation Committee of no fewer than three (3) members, including an Evaluation Consultant. The president shall submit a list of potential committee members to the Commissioner for consideration. The Chair of the Board of Regents shall appoint the Evaluation Committee members upon the recommendation of the Commissioner and the Vice Chair of the Board of Regents.

 5.1.2. Evaluation Consultant/Chair of Evaluation Committee: The Evaluation Committee shall be chaired by an Evaluation Consultant who has extensive experience in higher education, and who has knowledge of the type of institution involved. The president shall submit a list of potential consultants to the Commissioner for consideration. The Commissioner, in consultation with the Vice Chair of the Board of Regents, will then recommend the appointment of a Consultant to the Chair of the Board of Regents, who shall make the appointment.

 5.1.3. Appointment of Evaluation Committee: The Evaluation Consultant and the other members of the Evaluation Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of the Board of Regents, after consultation with the president, the Commissioner, and the Board of Regents Vice Chair.

5.2. Evaluation Planning

 5.2.1. Planning Meeting: In advance of the evaluation, the Evaluation Committee Chair (Evaluation Consultant), the Commissioner, and the president may discuss the details of the evaluation and any issues that pertain to the evaluation process.

5.2.2. Selection of Interviewees: The president shall submit a list of potential interviewees for approval by the Commissioner (for evaluation of presidents) or the Chair of the Board of Regents (for evaluation of the Commissioner) for consideration by the Evaluation Committee. This list shall normally consist of individuals both internal and external to the institution who are knowledgeable about the institution, and who have had enough interaction with the President to make meaningful judgments.

5.2.3. Preparation for Interviews: Prior to conducting confidential interviews, the Evaluation Committee shall meet with the president and his or her Resource and Review Team for the purpose of reviewing strategic plans, goals, objectives, resource allocation policies, major challenges and successes.

 5.2.4. Self-Report: The president shall prepare a confidential self-evaluation based upon the criteria of evaluation outlined in Section 5.4. of this policy as well as the presidential charge received from the Chair of the Board of Regents at the beginning of his/her presidency. The self-report shall be submitted to the Commissioner or Evaluation Consultant and provided to the Evaluation Committee.

5.3.  Evaluation Process

5.3.1. Confidential Interviews: Confidentiality shall be observed throughout the interview process. The Evaluation Committee will assure those being interviewed that their responses will remain confidential and that only a composite of responses will be made available to the Regents and the president.

 5.3.2.Required Interviews: In addition to the interviewees identified by the president during the planning of the evaluation, the Evaluation Committee will interview a representative sample of vice presidents, deans, academic and administrative department heads, faculty, students, and community and alumni leaders. The Evaluation Committee shall also take into consideration input provided by the Faculty Senate, Board of Trustees, and Board of Regents. The Evaluation Consultant may also solicit written comments about the president’s performance from various internal and external constituencies. Any written comments provided must be signed and will remain confidential. The Consultant shall not utilize a questionnaire or survey as part of the evaluation procedure.

 5.3.3. Format of Interviews: The Evaluation Committee will normally spend at least two days at the institution conducting interviews. Appropriate accommodations will be made for conducting interviews at the campus location(s).

 5.3.4. Exit Meeting: Prior to the end of the campus evaluation visit, the Evaluation Committee Chair (Evaluation Consultant) will meet with the president to review the preliminary results and to follow up on any questions that may remain.

5.4. Subject of Interviews: The Evaluation Committee will function as a fact-finder, and should review and carry out its duties consistent with this statement. In conducting the interviews, the Evaluation Committee members should ask those being interviewed to express their best judgment as to the performance of the chief executive officer in the following areas. All of the items below may not be appropriate as items of inquiry for all individuals being interviewed. In such cases the items should be omitted from the interview process.

 5.4.1. Budgetary Matters and Fiscal Management Evidence of sound fiscal management, including the ability to address budgetary matters in a way that achieves more efficient and effective use of resources. Ability to allocate fiscal resources in a manner that is conducive to achieving institutional goals and objectives. Ability to comprehend and evaluate fiscal and budgetary matters. Ability to attract funds for the institution.

 5.4.2. Academic Administration and Academic Planning Existence of well developed and widely understood institutional goals and objectives. Ability to link planning, resource allocation, and evaluation functions and a quality of judgment demonstrated in establishing ultimate priority in those areas. Existence of a good academic program review procedure designed to serve as a basis for staff allocation and budgetary support, the evaluation of the quality of instruction, and to assist in the implementation of the university’s or college’s institutional goals and objectives. Ability to initiate curricular change in response to student and societal interests and needs. Awareness of educational ideas, trends, and innovations.

5.4.3. Personnel of ability to relate to faculty and staff within the particular governance structure of the institution. Effectiveness in forming, developing, and supervising an administrative network for making and implementing policies. Evidence of the chief executive officer’s commitment to make personnel changes when those changes are necessary to further enhance the effectiveness of the institution. Evidence of ability to select strong subordinates. Ability of the chief executive officer to have trust and confidence of subordinates. Evidence of ability to seek and use counsel of immediate subordinates. Ability to determine those issues which are the proper responsibility of subordinates and those which require the action of the chief executive officer. Evidence of ability to delegate responsibility to subordinate managers and to support them in carrying out their responsibilities. Evidence of an ongoing procedure for evaluation of other members of the institutional management team.

 5.4.4. Decision Making and Problem Solving Ability to assume responsibility for decisions. Sensitivity to individuals affected by decisions. Ability to deal with reaction to unpopular decisions. Ability to identify and analyze problems and issues confronting the institution. Ability to identify potential areas of conflict. Ability to comprehend the inter-related nature of such factors as budgeting, curriculum, social and political realities, group interests and pressures, laws, and rules and regulations having implications for the management of the institution. Ability to initiate new ideas and change. Ability to make decisions in critical situations and to handle crises. Ability to communicate ideas, information, and resources for decisions. Awareness of implications of decisions. Ability to re-evaluate and if necessary retract decisions. Where appropriate, ability to involve institutional groups and individuals in support of decisions and in their implementation. Ability to surmount personal criticism.

 5.4.5. External Relations Ability to relate to and communicate with the community in which the institution is located. Evidence of an active alumni program. Ability to meet the social obligations of a chief executive officer. Ability to work with other chief executive officers in the System. Ability to understand the role of politics and governmental offices in higher education. Ability to relate to legislators, the Governor’s office, other state and federal agencies, and with other public officials on matters affecting the institution. Ability to represent the institution to its various public’s.

 5.4.6. Relationship to the Institutional Board of Trustees and to the Board of Regents Ability to provide professional leadership for the institutional Board of Trustees or in the case of the Commissioner for the Board of Regents and to supply it with professional judgments on matters affecting the institution. Effectiveness in keeping the institutional Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents informed of all relevant issues affecting or having bearing on managerial policies of the institution. Effectiveness in keeping the institutional Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents abreast of local, state, and regional affairs affecting the institution. Ability to identify for the Trustees and the Regents problems confronting the institution and to assess alternative solutions and to recommend appropriate action. Ability to carry out duties which have been or may be delegated or assigned to the chief executive officer by the Board of Regents or by the institutional Board of Trustees. Ability to review and analyze budgetary problems and to make effective presentations on the same to the institutional Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents.

5.4.7. Student Affairs Evidence of formal and informal mechanisms for involving students in decision making. Evidence of effective recruitment, admission, counseling, and placement programs. Ability to relate to students as individuals and in groups. Evidence of sensitivity on the part of the chief executive officer to individual differences and tolerance of and respect for such differences.

 5.5. Evaluation Report

5.5.1. Report to be Factual: The Evaluation Committee Chair shall compile factual information gathered during the course of the evaluation in a written report documenting the president’s strengths and areas for future focus and improvement.

5.5.2. Opportunity for Response: The Chair will submit the final, confidential report to the Commissioner for transmittal to the president, and the president shall be given the opportunity to prepare a written response to the report.

5.5.3. Review by Regents’ Officers: the Evaluation Report, together with the president’s response to the Report and the president’s self-evaluation, will be sent to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Regents, and to the president’s Resource and Review Team.

5.5.4. Review by Board of Regents: As soon as practical after the submission of the evaluation reports, the president will meet with the Commissioner, the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Regents to review the findings and recommendations of the Evaluation Report.

5.5.5. Recommendations to Board of Regents: At the conclusion of the evaluation process, the Chair of the Board of Regents may recommend commendations or other actions to the Board of Regents.

5.5.6. Retention of Report in Personnel File: A copy of the Evaluation Report, together with a copy of the president’s self-evaluation and response to the Report, will be retained as a confidential record in the president’s personnel file.

5.5.7. Confidentiality of Report: The Evaluation Report, including all documents pertaining thereto, including all notes, drafts, records of meetings conducted during the course of the evaluation, and all recommendations and responses, are confidential personnel records protected from disclosure by Utah law.

5.6.  Application of Evaluation Procedures to Commissioner

 5.6.1. General Procedures to Be Followed: The evaluation of the Commissioner shall generally follow the procedures outlined in this policy for the evaluation of presidents.

 5.6.2. Variations to be Determined in Consultation with Commissioner: Variations in the specific procedures and timelines specified for the evaluation of presidents may be needed for the evaluation of the Commissioner, and shall be determined by the Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Regents upon consultation with the Commissioner.


Institution Year of CEO Appointment First Evaluation Second Evaluation Third Evaluation
Dixie State University 2010 2011 2015 2019
Salt Lake Community College (interim) 2014
Snow College (interim) 2014
Southern Utah University 2014 2016 2020 2024
University of Utah 2012 2014 2018 2022
Utah State University 2005 2007 2011 2015
Utah Valley University 2009 2010 2014 2018
Weber State University 2013 2015 2019 2023
Commissioner of Higher Education 2012 2014 2018 2022

The evaluations under this policy shall occur in the spring in lieu of the spring review under R208. Evaluations begin in year 2 and occur every four years thereafter (during years 6, 10, etc).


[1] Adopted April 26, 1977; amended July 27, 1977; May 17, 1983; September 11, 1987; July 21, 1989; November 4, 1994; November 3, 1995, April 22, 2005, April 3, 2009, April 1, 2010, March 29, 2013 and March 28, 2014.