Board of Regents Policy Manual

BOR 06: Policy for Presidential Performance Evaluation

Approved by the Board of Regents, March 2, 2018


It is the policy of the Board of Regents that it will evaluate the President of Washington State University on an annual basis and that it will conduct a periodic comprehensive evaluation every three to four years.


The purpose of this policy is to formalize the procedures by which the board will fulfill an essential governance responsibility: supporting and evaluating the president. It also addresses the larger goal of contributing to the improvement of the president’s and institution’s effectiveness. Further, the evaluation will accomplish the related goals of continuous communication between the board and president about the president’s goals and accomplishments, the institution’s strategic position and vision, and the effectiveness of the president’s organizational decision-making. The evaluation process also meets the board’s need to be accountable to the institution’s various constituencies and to the larger public interest and public trust.

Board Practices and Procedures for Annual Evaluation

  1. Board Roles and Responsibilities — All board members will participate in the evaluation process as described herein. The process will be led by the board chair who will collaborate with the vice chair to ensure a smooth transition from one evaluation period to the next.
  2. Annual Goals and Objectives — The evaluation will be based on a mutually agreed-upon, annual set of measureable goals and objectives presented by the president and accepted by the board pursuant to the procedures and schedule outlined in this policy. In addition to the achievement of previously set goals and objectives, the evaluation may include such other matters as the board may determine as provided in the president’s employment agreement.
  3. President’s Appointment and Compensation — At the time of the evaluation or upon formal acceptance of the president’s annual goals, the board may, in its discretion, extend the president’s appointment, and/or adjust the president’s compensation.
  4. Executive Session — Pursuant to RCW 42.30 et seq., the board may meet in executive session to review the president’s performance. However, the board will only take final action in meetings open to the public when setting the president’s salary or other actions which must be taken and conducted in open session.
  5. Annual Evaluation Period and Schedule — The annual evaluation period will begin with the president’s presentation of goals and objectives at the board’s annual retreat, customarily in June of each year, and will conclude at the June retreat the following year. Should the board determine to change the month of its annual retreat, the evaluation period and schedule may be adjusted accordingly.

    The board will use the following schedule as recommended target dates to conduct the annual performance evaluation:

    • June — The president presents and discusses annual goals and objectives with the board at the board’s annual retreat.
    • August or September — The board formally accepts the president’s annual goals at its first regularly-scheduled meeting of the academic year.
    • January or February — At the first regularly-scheduled board meeting or retreat of the calendar year, the board and president engage in an informal mid-year review to discuss goals and objectives and to make adjustments, if appropriate.
    • Mid-April or early May — The board chair, vice chair, and president meet to discuss the upcoming performance evaluation and goals for the following year.
    • By May 15 — The president submits the following to the chair and vice chair: (1) annual report assessing progress made in achieving previously set goals; and (2) the goals and objectives for the following year.
    • By May 20 — Board chair distributes the president’s report to the board and performance evaluation material for the board to assess the president’s performance. At this time, the board chair will also distribute the president’s goals and objectives for the following year.
    • May 20 to early June — Board members individually assess performance and return evaluation materials to the board chair, along with any feedback about the president’s goals and objectives for the following year.
    • Early June (prior to retreat) — The board chair, vice chair, and president meet to review and discuss the board’s evaluation of the president. The chair and vice-chair will also discuss the president’s draft goals and objectives for the following year to provide any feedback prior to the full discussion at the June retreat.
    • June Board Retreat — The board and the president will briefly discuss the performance evaluation at the June retreat, prior to the discussion of the president’s goals and objectives for the following year.
    • July 1 — The annual evaluation is documented and concluded with a short memo from the board chair and vice chair outlining the board’s evaluation of the president’s progress in achieving prior goals and confirming the goals set for the coming year.

Board Practices and Procedures for Periodic Comprehensive Evaluation

  1. The board will conduct a periodic comprehensive evaluation of the president’s performance every three to four years which will build upon the foundation of the annual evaluation.
  2. The comprehensive evaluation will be a formative process with the primary purpose of enhancing the performance of the president.
  3. The board chair and vice chair, with assistance from board staff, will establish a timeline and process for confidential interviews on the president’s effectiveness and leadership with a significant cross-section of the campus community and external stakeholders.
  4. The interviews will be led by an experienced higher education leader or by a person connected to the campus who can elicit fully objective responses.
  5. The board chair will report findings and recommendations to the president and, subsequently, to the board. All written assessment of the president’s performance will remain confidential to the extent permitted by law, specifically, the Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW.
  6. The president will develop a plan for activities that will improve his/her professional performance, and will discuss with the board ways to address institutional or board issues that may be part of the evaluation findings.