Nov. 6, 2007
By Joe Brennan
An ad-hoc committee of the Ohio University Board of Trustees charged with reviewing the process the board uses to evaluate the university's president met for the first time Monday in Columbus. Board Chair C. Daniel DeLawder formed the five-member group and asked it to bring recommendations to the full board in February.
"My hope is that this ad hoc committee will do the research into history and best practices and present a clear policy that everyone can understand and trust," committee Chair Sandra Anderson said.
In September, both Student Senate and Graduate Student Senate passed resolutions calling on the Board of Trustees to revise the current presidential evaluation process, which has been in place for two years. As of Monday, Faculty Senate was still considering its own resolution. Anderson said the review was triggered in part by these requests and in part by DeLawder's desire to examine all board practices.
"It's always a good idea for any board to look at its policies and make sure they are clear and principled," Anderson said. She stressed that the process the committee devises should be workable "regardless of who the president is, who is on the board or who happens to be heading the (university's) constituent groups."
The group spent about 90 minutes Monday reviewing nearly 300 pages of background material assembled by Anderson, including Ohio statutes, university policy, the contracts of Presidents Robert Glidden and Roderick McDavis, and information on the procedures followed by other Ohio public universities and some peer institutions. Committee members volunteered to gather additional information, including more details on how other Ohio universities handle such evaluations, statements from student and faculty leaders and published materials from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB).
The group plans to invite an outside expert to its next meeting to provide information on national best practices in presidential evaluation. That person is likely to be Bob Woodbury, a former college president who provides consulting services for the AGB, said interim Board Secretary Tom Davis. Woodbury led two planning sessions with the board earlier this year.
Anderson said the next committee meeting has not yet been scheduled, but it is likely to take place in early December. She expects the committee to conclude its work in three or four meetings.
In addition to Anderson, members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Presidential Evaluation Policy are Trustee Norman "Ned" DeWire, National Trustee Frank Krasovec and Student Trustees Lydia Gerthoffer and Tracy Kelly.
Watch Outlook for announcements on upcoming committee meetings, or visit the Board of Trustees Web site.