DEO Selection and Evaluation Process

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Amended Date



Policy Purpose and Description  

This policy document outlines the process by which the college appoints a Departmental Executive Officer (DEO) in alignment with the expectations of DEO leaders and the specified criteria. The DEO plays a critical role in leading the department and is responsible for cultivating its success. This policy ensures a transparent, fair, and efficient selection process to identify the most suitable candidate for the position.


  1. Identification of DEO Candidates

The department will identify potential DEO candidates based on the following criteria, which are reflective of the expectations of DEO leaders and the guidelines established by the college:

  • Candidates should typically hold the rank of full professor.
  • Candidates should demonstrate a productive program of research, scholarship, or creative work.
  • Candidates should have a sustained record of service in the department, college, university, and profession.
  • Candidates should possess skills that align with the expectations of DEO leaders, as articulated below.

Expectations of DEO Leaders:

The DEO is expected to:

  • Be a part of the team: The DEO will actively collaborate with the Dean's leadership team, working closely to lead the department effectively.
  • Represent their department: The DEO consults with the faculty and staff and shares the concerns and ideas of the department with collegiate leaders.
  • Develop people: The DEO will provide honest and constructive feedback, supporting the growth and success of individuals within the department.
  • Set a positive vision: The DEO will create a shared understanding of what success looks like and guide the department in moving towards its goals.
  • Lead change: The DEO will acknowledge the necessity of change, establish goals for change, and lead strategic efforts to adapt the department's work in alignment with the shared vision.
  • Be a solution-focused problem solver: The DEO will seek information, employ data in decision making, and critically evaluate information to identify effective solutions.
  • Communicate clearly: The DEO will actively listen, share information concisely and purposefully, ensure accuracy and honesty in communications, and serve as the primary voice of the college to the department and of the department to the college.
  • Create accountability: The DEO will establish clear consequences for actions, holding oneself and others responsible for performance, including teaching, scholarly/creative work, professional productivity, and service activities.
  • Create healthy leadership transitions: The DEO will facilitate smooth onboarding for new leaders and proactively plan for a seamless transition when concluding their own leadership tenure.
  1. Candidate Identification and Transmission

The department will identify potential DEO candidates based on the established criteria. Once the list of candidates has been compiled, it will be transmitted to the college for review.

  1. Confidential Feedback

Collegiate leadership, upon receiving the list of DEO candidates, will survey the faculty and staff to gather confidential feedback. This feedback will provide insights into each candidate's strengths, areas for improvement, and suitability for the DEO position. The confidentiality of the feedback will be strictly maintained to encourage honest and open responses.

  1. Candidate Notification

Following the feedback-gathering stage, collegiate leaders will make a holistic review of the feedback from the department to select a candidate for the position. The Dean will then engage in negotiations with the selected candidate based on the college's guidelines. The negotiation process will cover terms and conditions of the DEO appointment. Additionally, an overview of the confidential feedback received will be provided individually to each candidate to ensure transparency and enable them to understand the faculty's perceptions.

  1. Department Notification

Once all candidates have been notified individually, collegiate leaders will make an official announcement within the department to introduce the newly appointed DEO.

  1. Exceptions to the Normal Process

In rare situations, the college may need to make an appointment where circumstances do not allow for the normal DEO selection process. In those cases, the Dean will appoint a DEO either from among the faculty of the department or from elsewhere in the college. Depending on the circumstances, the Dean may or may not be able to consult with the faculty in making this appointment.

Evaluation of DEOs

The process for evaluating departmental executive officers (DEOs) based on the college's expectations for DEO leaders and includes the following steps:

For annual reviews of DEOs

  1. Self-assessment: The evaluation process begins with the DEO conducting a self-assessment based on the categories outlined by the college's expectations for DEO leaders. The DEO reflects on their performance in each category and has an opportunity to describe major accomplishments, challenges encountered, efforts to strengthen the culture of scholarship/research in the department, and set goals for the upcoming year as DEO.
  2. Assessment by the Dean and senior leadership team: In consultation with the senior leadership team, the Dean completes an assessment of the DEO using the same criteria established by the college for DEO leaders. They review the DEO's performance in each category and provide their own summary assessment, identifying strengths and opportunities for growth. This assessment is based on the evaluation criteria and may also include feedback from faculty and staff.
  3. Individual meeting with the Dean: Each DEO has an individual meeting with the Dean, during which the evaluation is provided. The Dean shares their assessment of the DEO's performance, taking into account the self-assessment and the evaluation conducted by the senior leadership team. This meeting serves as an opportunity for the DEO to receive feedback, discuss the assessment, and engage in a conversation with the Dean regarding their performance.
  4. Goal setting for development and department success: Following the evaluation meeting, the DEO and the Dean collaborate to identify goals for the DEO's development and for the department's success in the upcoming year. These goals are aligned with the college's expectations for DEO leaders and the department's objectives. The DEO and the Dean discuss strategies, resources, and support systems to help achieve these goals. The goal-setting process considers challenges, opportunities, and specific initiatives relevant to the department's advancement.


Mid-term Evaluation

DEOs undergo a mid-term evaluation. This evaluation involves a confidential survey of the faculty and staff in the department, similar to the survey instrument used during the initial appointment process. The survey collects feedback on the DEO's performance and provides insights into their leadership effectiveness. The results of the survey inform the mid-term evaluation process and can contribute to identifying areas for improvement or adjustment.


The evaluation process is designed to ensure that DEOs receive constructive feedback, set meaningful goals, and have opportunities for growth and development. It involves ongoing communication and collaboration between the DEO, the Dean, and the senior leadership team. Regular check-ins and progress reviews may be scheduled to monitor the DEO’s progress, address any challenges, and ensure that the established goals contribute to the success of both the DEO and the department.

Merit Salary Process for DEOs

The merit salary process for departmental executive officers (DEOs) is primarily based on their performance evaluation, according to the expectations of DEO leaders. While DEOs are expected to maintain their commitment to teaching and research, their performance as a DEO will be a significant factor in the merit evaluation.


  1. Performance evaluation: DEOs undergo a comprehensive and holistic performance evaluation, which assesses their performance in various areas, including their responsibilities as a DEO and their individual contributions to teaching and research. The evaluation is conducted based on the expectations for DEO leaders outlined by the college.
  2. Merit assessment: The performance evaluation serves as the basis for determining the merit increases for DEOs. The Dean, in consultation with members of the senior leadership team, reviews the evaluation results and ranks the DEOs in groups based on their performance. The merit increases are then allocated accordingly.
  3. Consideration of DEO performance: In the merit assessment process, the DEO’s performance as a DEO, according to the expectations of DEO leaders, is considered alongside their other roles as a faculty member. This evaluation considers their ability to collaborate with the Dean's leadership team, represent their department, develop people, set a positive vision, lead change, be a solution-focused problem solver, communicate clearly, create accountability, and facilitate healthy leadership transitions.
  4. Teaching and research contributions: The merit assessment recognizes the DEO's ongoing commitment to their own teaching and research as one part of the overall evaluation in addition to their performance as a DEO and their adherence to the expectations of DEO leaders. Taking account of the PTEAP allocation agreed to in the DEO contract, the assessment of teaching and research contributions is considered alongside their leadership effectiveness and impact on the department in a holistic evaluation of performance.
  5. Determination of merit increases: The Dean, in consultation with the senior leadership team, determines the merit increases for the DEOs based on the rankings and performance evaluations. The merit increases are allocated in a manner that recognizes and rewards outstanding performance and aligns with the available resources and priorities of the college.

Additional DEO Policy Considerations

  1. Professional Development Assignments or other research leaves are generally incompatible with serving as DEO. For the duration of the DEO contract, DEOs may not take a PDA.
  2. Should a DEO apply for and be granted a prestigious fellowship or other research opportunity that would require an interim DEO assignment, they would engage the Dean in a discussion about whether accepting that opportunity is possible and how best to support the department if they should do so. Depending on the circumstances a DEO may need to resign from the DEO position to accept such an opportunity.
  3. Collegiate leadership, in collaboration with the Provost’s office and with departments, will take an active role in cultivating and developing future leaders in anticipation of leadership transitions to support the preparation of future DEOs for assuming the responsibilities of DEO leadership consistent with the expectations outlined above.



Frequently Asked Questions  

What HR transactions occur when a DEO is appointed? 

 The Provost's Office utilizes the job code FM22 for DEO appointments. When appointed, the DEO’s primary paid appointment is transferred 100% to the FM22 job code in the department of their DEO appointment, and a complimentary faculty appointment is created in the DEO’s home department(s). At the conclusion of the DEO appointment, the effort will be transferred back to the original faculty job code(s), and the complimentary appointment(s) will be terminated. 

Related Information 

CLAS For DEOs web pages