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President McDavis receives positive evaluation from university's board of trustees

ATHENS, Ohio (June 26, 2006) -- The Ohio University Board of Trustees has completed its annual performance evaluation of President Roderick J. McDavis and reaffirmed the board's confidence in his leadership of Ohio University.  This spring, the board implemented its new evaluation process of the president, which was designed to include more feedback from key university constituencies.

Following the board's June 23 meeting, Chairman of the Board Gregory Browning sent a letter about the performance evaluation process to McDavis. The letter, which follows below, also includes McDavis' publicly articulated 2005-06 presidential goals and his related progress report detailing his success in achieving those goals.



June 26, 2006

Dr. Roderick McDavis, President
Office of the President
Cutler Hall
Ohio University
Athens, Ohio 45701

Dear Rod,

We are writing as a final step in the 2005-2006 presidential performance evaluation process.  The process culminated in our onging confidence in your leadership and a related decision to provide you with a three percent salary increase effective July 1, 2006.  This increase is consistent with the three percent salary increase fund set aside for all university employees for FY 2007. 

More importantly, as we know you agree, the evaluation resulted in new insights and understandings for you and the Board regarding the perspectives of key university constituencies, regarding both your performance and university operations and strategic directions. 

This year's presidential performance evaluation sets a new standard.  Conceptually speaking, the Board's Executive Committee conducted a "360 Degree" performance evaluation.  Our evaluation included outreach to representatives of key university constituencies:  Five Senates, representatives of departmental chairs and school directors, vice presidents and deans.  Consistent with university policy and state law, these personnel related meetings took place in executive sessions with members of the Board's Executive Committee. 

Our evaluation process was centered on your publicly articulated goals.  These goals, which helped the Committee focus the evaluation process, are outlined in the attached progress report that you provided the Committee.  The report is consistent with your publicly articulated 2005-2006 presidential goals and related progress reports.  We have discussed with you the insights and information we gleaned from the evaluation process, most of which was consistent with your own stated understanding of university issues and challenges.  Many positive comments emerged from this process, including supportive statements regarding your personal and professional skill set, your genuine and enthusiastic commitment to Ohio University and your strong inter-personal skills.  Special praise was given for your progress on enhancing civic and personal responsibility within the student community, particularly with regard to alcohol use and abuse, community relationships, state and regional partnerships and diversity.  Credit was also given by many for the executive team you have put in place and for your forthright efforts to address strategic questions.  And though there were many concerns expressed regarding the University's strategic planning process, as is often the case with any strategic planning endeavor, the primary goals of the process – to improve research and undergraduate excellence to enhance diversity and university partnerships - were generally regarded as goals that, if achieved, would help the University move forward in positive and important ways. 

The Board concurs with these positive judgments and with your devotion to the difficult challenges associated with advancing a trustee endorsed change agenda that will help Ohio University move more effectively to maximize its great potential in a challenging fiscal and organizational environment that includes opportunities for the University to advance its mission to educate Ohioans and others in a rapidly changing, knowledge-based global economy. 

At the center of this change agenda is the University's strategic plan, Vision Ohio.  Based on our own reflections and the insights we gained from the performance evaluation process, we are convinced of two important realities:  1) the fundamental goals of the strategic plan are sound even though they need additional clarification and development; and 2) we have all underestimated the immense challenge of communicating clearly and collaborating effectively with university constituencies, and most especially faculty members who often know the most about the issues we are addressing.  These difficult communication issues were raised repeatedly throughout the evaluation process.  With this in mind, we encourage you to redouble your efforts and those of your executive team to work to enhance effective communication and collaboration.

A leadership commitment to more effective communication and collaboration is made more critical by the institutional challenges currently facing Ohio University.  Beyond fiscal pressures and the growing need to provide increasingly high quality teaching and research services, the University, as you well know, is faced with the daunting task of rebuilding its information technology infrastructure while guarding against threats to the security of its data; it also faces challenges to its institutional and academic integrity in the form of plagiarism patterns in the mechanical engineering department.  Taken alone, these concerns are significant.  Taken together, they are monumental and require all of us, and not just the president, to go the extra mile to provide the very best public service we can to the University, its students, faculty and staff, and to the citizens of Ohio.

We know that you stand ready and willing to continue your good faith commitment to Ohio University and that you will work collaboratively with the Board of Trustees and all of the University's key stakeholders to move the University forward as effectively as possible.

Thank you for your service and your leadership.

Sincerely,

Greg Browning, Dan Delawder, Marnette Perry, Larry Schey Ohio University Board of Trustees Executive Committee Members

c. Ohio University Board of Trustees 

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Media Contact: Media Relations Coordinator Jessica Stark, (740) 597-2938 or starkj@ohio.edu

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