Draft Policy 705.1


Recognizing the importance of having exceptional leadership throughout the Montana University System, and that each of us, our enterprise, and the people it serves benefit professionally and personally from constructive reviews of how we exercise our responsibilities, the Montana Board of Regents establishes this policy on the evaluation of the Commissioner of Higher Education and the Board of Regents. In doing so, the Board acknowledges the importance of meeting its responsibilities, with the Commissioner, for effective institutional governance and management. Compensation adjustments are considered subsequent to the performance assessment process.


1. The Board shall review the Commissioner s stewardship annually, and subsequently decide compensation adjustments. In the spring of each year (and before expiration of the Commissioner s contract) the Commissioner shall review with the Regents the performance and activities of his office and the University System as a whole during the past year and also goals for the coming year. At the request of the Commissioner, this review may be conducted during an executive session of the Regents.

This process shall be elaborated in a separate procedural statement and periodically revised and brought to the Board for approval. The heart of the process shall be a written self-assessment by the Commissioner and will include a report on the goals and objectives from the previous 12-month period (as previously agreed upon by the Commissioner and the Board). It also shall include proposed goals and objectives for the subsequent 12 months. Other questions to be addressed by the Commissioner and other information about the university system s condition and progress will be agreed upon with the Commissioner in advance and will be appended to his or her written statement. The full Board and the Commissioner shall conduct this process.


2.                  The Board shall conduct a self-study of its stewardship every three or four years.

This process shall be elaborated in a separate procedural statement and periodically reviewed by the Board. The heart of this process will be written assessments from all Board members. The Board will determine the appropriate format of the self-assessments. The Chair of the Board and the Commissioner will have responsibility for planning and reviewing with the full Board the specific arrangements for the meeting where this self-study will be brought to completion. The Board may choose to use an external facilitator or consultant.


3.         At least once in every five-year period of the Commissioners incumbency, or as the Board shall determine, the Commissioner and Board of Regents shall participate in a comprehensive joint-review process conducted by external consultants. The estimated expense shall be included in the budget for the appropriate year.

Assuming the Commissioner and Board of Regents are prepared to renew a long-term commitment to one another, the two parties should mutually decide on the timing and details of a process by which a third party can assess the institution s management and governance. This process shall be elaborated in a separate procedural statement and brought to the Board for approval. The heart of this process shall be personal interviews with the Commissioner, Board members, and appropriate individuals as well as solicitation of input from both internal and external stakeholder groups, organizations and groups. Because the special focus of the process will be on the chief executive-board relationship and on matters of broad institutional management and governance, one or two qualified external consultants may be retained to ensure that the process is objective, candid, and effective.


4.In an executive session, the Commissioner will review with the Regents the performance of upper-level administrators during the past year and salary adjustments, which will be proposed for the coming year.