The Yale Corporation announced plans earlier this month for the first formal institutional assessment since 2009 and the first under the leadership of University President Peter Salovey.
This spring, a committee of trustees, chaired by Donna Dubinsky ’77 and Catharine B. Hill GRD ’85, will solicit feedback from administrators, faculty, students, staff and alumni regarding institutional challenges and suggestions for University leadership. The committee will present an executive summary of their findings at the Corporation’s meeting next June, and trustees will share insights from the review with the Yale community by the end of the summer.
“[The Yale community] cares about where the institution is going and what it’s going to invest in,” Dubinsky said. “We want to know how they feel about the institution.”
The first review, carried out in 1998 under the guidance of former University President Richard Levin, identified improved labor relations as a point of focus for University progress. The assessment committee, which is reconvened every five years, released reports again in 2004 and 2009.
But after Levin announced plans to retire in 2013, the Corporation refrained from a formal review. As part of the presidential search process, trustees conducted a “listening tour” that largely mirrored the process of previous University-wide assessments.
Former University Secretary Linda Lorimer, who worked on each of the past three institutional reviews, said the results gave useful feedback to the trustees, as well as the president and his senior colleagues.
As part of each past institutional review, trustees met with five dozen individuals across the University. But this time around, the Corporation plans to create a website so that more members of the Yale community can submit comments this spring.
The planning for the review has begun at a moment of critical self-evaluation for the University. Last spring, Salovey ordered a comprehensive assessment of his own job performance, which revealed concerns about his communication with other administrators and the slow pace of his decision making. And last January, Provost Ben Polak formed the University Science Strategy Committee to evaluate potential areas of growth in the sciences. More recently, Salovey and Polak chartered a similar commission for the humanities, Division Director of Humanities Amy Hungerford told the News earlier this month.
“There’s an effort underway to identify the academic strategic priorities for the University, not just in science, but also in the humanities, in social science, in the arts and in faculty excellence,” said Scott Strobel, the deputy provost of teaching and learning and chair of the University Science Strategy Committee. “It’s part of a big, full breadth of strategic planning.”
The effort to refine these academic priorities comes as the University pivots from a tumultuous year and a half to the first major fundraising campaign of Salovey’s tenure. Administrators are in the middle of a two-year planning phase leading up to the campaign’s launch.
The Yale Corporation has 17 members.
Hailey Fuchs | firstname.lastname@example.org
Correction, Oct. 6: A previous version of the story stated that the Yale Corporation has 19 members. In fact, there are 17 members.