The state of the art in evaluating the performance of assistant and associate deans as seen by deans and assistant and associate deans

David G. Dunning, Timothy M. Durham, Mert N. Aksu, Brian M. Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores the little-understood process of evaluating the performance of assistant and associate deans at dental colleges in the United States and Canada. Specifically, this research aimed to identify the methods, processes, and outcomes related to the performance appraisals of assistant/associate deans. Both deans and assistant/associate deans were surveyed. Forty-four of sixty-six deans (66.7 percent) and 227 of 315 assistant/associate deans (72.1 percent) completed surveys with both close-ended and open-ended questions. In addition, ten individuals from each group were interviewed. Results indicate that 75-89 percent of assistant/associate deans are formally evaluated, although as many as 27 percent may lack formal job descriptions. Some recommended best practices for performance appraisal are being used in a majority of colleges. Examples of these best practices are having at least yearly appraisals, holding face-to-face meetings, and setting specific, personal performance objectives/benchmarks for assistant/associate deans. Still, there is much room to improve appraisals by incorporating other recommended practices. Relatively high levels of overall satisfaction were reported by both assistant/associate deans and deans for the process and outcomes of appraisals. Assistant/associate deans rated the value of appraisals to overall development lower than did deans. Qualitative data revealed definite opinions about what constitutes effective and ineffective appraisals, including the use of goal-setting, timeliness, and necessary commitment. Several critical issues related to the results are discussed: differences in perspectives on performance reviews, the importance of informal feedback and job descriptions, the influence of an assistant/associate deans' lack of tenure, and the length of service of deans. Lastly, recommendations for enhancing performance evaluations are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-471
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of dental education
Volume72
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008

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Keywords

  • Assistant deans
  • Associate deans
  • Dental colleges
  • Performance appraisal
  • Performance evaluation
  • Performance review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Dentistry(all)

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