Guidelines for Dean’s Letter

To help the external review team prepare for its site visit, the unit’s Dean has the option to write a focused letter, which will be forwarded to the review team two weeks prior to its visit, and which may serve as one of the reviews of the unit during the development of the APR Action Plan.

The Dean’s Letter can offer a unique perspective on the contributions made by the unit to the activities of the college as a whole.  The Letter:

a.  contextualizes the unit’s contribution to its college;

b.  reflects on the fit between the unit’s goals, as stated in its Self-Study, and those of any ongoing, college-level, strategic planning efforts;

c.  reflects on the suitability of the unit’s proposed sustaining and disruptive innovations; and

d.  offers insight on the desirability and feasibility of allocating college resources, where requested by the unit, to meet its stated goals.  APR is a budget-neutral process in the sense that there is no additional funding from central administration for APR, and its major focus should be on quality improvements.  However, recognizing that some quality improvements require resources, deans and unit heads may choose to redirect resources within existing college and department budgets to enable a unit’s APR goals.  Moreover, deans can engage with units in a discussion of entrepreneurial strategies for funding particular initiatives.