To: The University of Rhode Island Community
From: David M. Dooley, President
Subject: Evaluation of the performance of Provost DeHayes
Date: Friday, September 22, 2017
Thank you very much again for your participation in the evaluation of the work of Provost DeHayes at the University of Rhode Island. I especially appreciate the thorough and thoughtful analysis and report of the Faculty Senate’s Administrator Evaluation Committee for Provost DeHayes. All of us owe Professors Marilyn Barbour, Doug Hales, Peter Larsen, Joan Peckham, and James Prochaska a substantial debt of gratitude. As I have stated previously, I think that periodic reviews of the administration of URI are important to the vitality of our community, and a critically important element of a strong shared-governance culture. I have carefully reviewed the Evaluation Report of the Committee, including all the comments, and discussed its findings with them. I have also discussed the report with Provost DeHayes and shared this response with him, as well. It should be noted, especially in the current context of frequent turnover among those in leadership positions in higher education, that Provost DeHayes has served the University of Rhode Island with distinction since 2008.
The report of the Administrator Evaluation Committee was based on a representative survey and their own analysis. Permit me to quote from their report:
“Overall Impressions: The Provost was given a nearly unanimous vote of support for his current and future leadership by administrators and staff. Overall, faculty respondents were strongly supportive with a minority (11%) strongly dissenting.”
“The most common cross-cutting themes that emerged from the survey and open-ended comments included:
- Faculty and some administrators/staff are relatively unaware of the effectiveness of the Provost in leading areas under his authority, resulting in a high frequency of “cannot judge” responses to some questions. This underscores the need of the Provost to create other avenues of direct communication with faculty, perhaps through formalized reports to the Faculty Senate and other alternatives.
- On all segments of the surveys completed by both faculty and administrators/staff, the Provost was given more favorable responses than negative, many substantially so. Some notable factors included his strong positive influence on the quality of undergraduate education, his visibility to the community, his availability and approachability, and his innovation and leadership.
- Some common concerns included an apparent focus on STEM and professional disciplines, length of time to make administrative appointments and decisions, need for greater planning and reflection of his many initiatives, and a need for more direct input from faculty.”
My own evaluation of Provost DeHayes’ performance is fully consistent with these findings. There is no doubt that his efforts and dedication have contributed substantially to the tremendous success of the University of Rhode Island over the past several years. In addition, he has been highly effective as a member of the senior leadership team for URI and has represented the university very effectively in a variety of external settings. Provost DeHayes has played an indispensable role in preparing the university for its forthcoming comprehensive campaign. Accordingly, I have renewed his contract through June 30, 2020, and I look forward to the continuation of his collaborative, energetic and innovative leadership.
In his response to the Committee’s report Provost DeHayes stated:
“I also want to emphasize that I take seriously the perceptions and opinions that have emerged from the community, whether they are positive or negative. I am grateful to the many faculty, staff, and administrators that took the time to complete the survey and share their ideas and perspectives. For the most part, I am pleased with the outcome and certainly understand and respect the concerns that were expressed. There were relatively few surprises for me and I know there are issues to examine and address as we all move forward.”
I appreciate his candor and I will work with Provost DeHayes to evaluate and address issues identified in the report.
Allow me to thank, once again, the Faculty Senate, the members of the Administrator Review Committee, and all those who participated in this important process.