University Senate members question presidential evaluation process

Western students participate in surveys throughout the year, evaluating professors, campus food and changes on campus. But when it comes to President Gary Ransdell’s performance, their opinion is not taken into consideration, according to Faculty Regent Robert Dietle.

Students are not alone. Faculty and staff are also excluded from Ransdell’s assessment. Dietle raised concern Thursday during a meeting of the University Senate about the lack of input from students, faculty and staff in the process.

Staff Regent Howard Bailey said Ransdell’s yearly evaluation begins when each regent fills out a form. Those forms are submitted to the board’s Presidential Evaluation Sub-Committee, which compiles the information and presents the results to the board members. The committee then goes over the evaluation with Ransdell.

Dietle said in his 10 years as a faculty member at Western, the only presidential evaluation he has seen is through the University Senate.

The only involvement students have in Ransdell’s evaluation is through one student regent — Student Government Association President Jamie Sears.

Ransdell said he would be open to students participating in his yearly evaluation.

“Students assess my performance just about every day,” he said.

Dietle said the evaluation process is incomplete, adding that students, faculty and staff should be surveyed as well.

Ransdell said the board may be open to student involvement during its evaluation, which he described as “thorough.”

“They take that very seriously,” he said.

Dietle said he hopes he can persuade the regents to include students, faculty and staff in the evaluation process.

“Right now, I don’t foresee how that can happen,” Regent chair Lois Gray said.

Reach Molly O’Connor at [email protected]