UI eyes renewing reviews

The UI is in the process of re-establishing a schedule to conduct reviews of the central administration.

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UI eyes renewing reviews

The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.

The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.

Tom Jorgensen/University of iowa

The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.

Tom Jorgensen/University of iowa

Tom Jorgensen/University of iowa

The University of Iowa Campus looking west from Old Capitol and the Pentacrest.

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After lagging behind in reviews of central administrators in the past couple decades, University of Iowa officials are working to get the process back on track.

Straying from university policy, only the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost has been reviewed in the last seven years. There are seven offices, and five of them have not undergone a review since 2006 or earlier in the 2000s.The UI Operations Manual Section II-28.4 states that the Office of the President, each vice president, and the provost “should be reviewed at least once every seven years. The university president shall consult with the Faculty Council in establishing a schedule of reviews.”

After the office in question conducts a self-study, a review occurs of the full office to evaluate its functionality.

These reviews are intended to provide an assessment of how each administrative office is functioning and to allow for recommendations to be made about how to be stronger, said outgoing Faculty Senate President Tom Vaughn.

History Professor Katherine Tachau said a review of the Office of Research and Economic Development occurred while she was Faculty Senate president, and the review was one of the things that led to the renaming of that office.

“The review process gave me a much better sense as president of the Senate of what the vice president’s Office for Research and Economic Development does and needs,” she said.

Laura McLeran, the senior adviser to the president and associate vice president for external relations, said work started with Faculty Senate about two months ago to re-establish a calendar to keep in the President’s Office and the Faculty Senate Office. One office will be reviewed annually and the self-study will begin this coming summer, she said. No reviews are currently being conducted.

“Then even with transition, there would be sort of documentation in both areas as to what the organizations have agreed to, separate from the people who might be conducting the reviews …” she said.

McLeran said some offices have changed in their current state, such as what was formerly known as the Office of University Relations, which had not been reviewed since 1998. The office is now essentially the Office of External Relations, and the office is more settled in its current state and would perhaps be a good place to start the reviews, she said.

Vaughn and McLeran said the reviews in part have gotten off schedule because of turnover in the UI administration.

“Most recently, we’ve got a new president,” Vaughn said. “The Provost Office was reviewed [in 2014] … but we’ve also had a changeover in the chief financial office and things like that. All of those things have kind of distracted people from the reviews.”

While the reviews evaluate the entire office, not solely the leader of that office, McLeran said, people generally agreed that it makes more sense to review an office with an active leader.