Document Type


Journal Title

Journal of dental education

Publication Date





This study explores the little understood process of evaluating the performance of department chairs/division heads in dental schools. Specifically, this research aimed to elucidate the methods, processes, and outcomes related to the job performance of department chairs/division heads. Forty-three deans and 306 chairs completed surveys with both close-ended and open-ended questions. In addition, ten deans and ten chairs were interviewed. Results indicate that 80 to 90 percent of department chairs are formally evaluated, although as many as 50 percent may lack job descriptions. Recommended best practices for performance appraisal--such as having at least yearly appraisals, holding face-to-face meetings, and setting specific, personal performance objectives/benchmarks for chairs--are being used in most schools. Still, there is much room to improve appraisals by incorporating other recommended practices. Overall high levels of satisfaction were reported by both chairs and deans for the process and outcomes of appraisals. Qualitative data showed some convergence of opinions about appraisals with the notable exception of informal feedback. We explore some implications of these results, especially as they relate to improving performance appraisals.




Reprinted by permission of Journal of Dental Education, Volume 71, Issue 4 (April 2007). Copyright 2007 by the American Dental Education Association.

Included in

Dentistry Commons