Draft Policy 705.4



This supplements the Board s standing policy concerning Commissioner and Board performance reviews. It details the purposes and process by which the Commissioner s performance shall be reviewed each year.




The purpose of the evaluation process is to enable the Commissioner to strengthen his or her performance, to foster professional development, to enable the Commissioner and Board to set mutually agreeable goals, and to inform annual decisions on compensation adjustments and other terms of employment.




It shall be the board s responsibility to assess the Commissioner s performance and to solicit the views of other leaders within and outside of the institution. For the purposes of annual Commissioner reviews, however, the process shall be a private matter between the Board and the Commissioner and may be conducted in executive session at the request of the Commissioner. The board delegates to the Board Chair the responsibility for organizing and conducting the performance review process with the Commissioner.




The heart of this process shall be a written management-review statement by the Commissioner in a format and timetable mutually agreed upon with the board. The Commissioner will have wide latitude in the format of this report but it should present a clear picture of the Montana University System s academic and financial progress and condition, and use appropriate qualitative and quantitative benchmarks. It should highlight the Commissioner s major achievement and concerns and include explanations of underperformance in specific areas. It should also document the University System s record of service to the State of Montana, the major improvements in and current condition of the physical plant, and overall morale. The Commissioner should reflect on his or her leadership style and effectiveness, working relations with system members and other public and private leaders, and with the broader higher education communities. References to preceding annual performance reviews are appropriate.


The Commissioner will also propose a manageable number of goals for the coming twelve months (usually between five and ten goals). The Commissioner will also suggest measurable performance levels for each goal so the Board can decide in advance what constitutes poor, acceptable, or outstanding levels of performance. The Board and Commissioner will then jointly agree upon the goals and levels of performance for each. At the end of the reporting period, the Board and the Commissioner will then measure the Commissioner s performance against the objectives that have been jointly agreed upon.


Normally, unless revised by the Board in consultation with the Commissioner in the intervening period, the Commissioner s management-review statement will retain the same format. This statement, along with any supplemental information the Board may have requested of the Commissioner, shall be sent to all Board members at least 30 days before the board meeting at which the Commissioner s review process and goals will be discussed (with the Commissioner present). Because this statement constitutes a potentially sensitive personnel matter, all Board members will treat it as strictly confidential information. The board meeting at which the Commissioner s annual performance review is conducted will be completed prior to the termination of the contract period for the Commissioner. After the performance review of the Commissioner, the Chair of the Board, with assistance from other members as necessary, will draft a written, confidential summary of the Board s evaluation for consideration by the Board at the next meeting.


At the Board s next regularly scheduled meeting, in an executive session (if requested by the Commissioner), the Board shall engage the Commissioner in a discussion of the Commissioner s goals for the subsequent year and the Board will then approve the result. The Board will also modify (if necessary) and ratify the written performance review of the Commissioner prepared by the Board Chair. This meeting is intended for the Board and the Commissioner to have a wide-ranging discussion about the conduct of the Commissioner within the context of the Montana University System s progress. The Board, of course, reserves the right to adjust the proposed goals and priorities. At this time the board will also review the Commissioner s job description and make adjustments as is deemed necessary.




Following discussions with the Commissioner about the Commissioner s performance, and following agreement on his or her goals for the next twelve months, the Board shall, in an executive session, receive, discuss, and ratify the recommendations for the next year s goals.