Executive Director Evaluation Policy

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Updated: July 2012

IV. Executive Director Evaluation

The American Association of Law Libraries' Executive Director Evaluation Policy and Schedule was originally approved November 4, 1994 and amended April 2007 and July 2012. It has been followed since then, with agreement by Past Presidents and the Executive Director that it is an effective planning and evaluation procedure.

The key to evaluation is having well-defined objectives and responsibilities against which to measure performance. How AALL handles this is described in the Preamble to the Executive Director's 2007 Ongoing Responsibilities document:

Only the Executive Board, when it acts as a body through formal actions taken at its regularly scheduled meetings, has the authority to establish priorities or direct that activities be carried out by the Executive Director or staff. The AALL Executive Board uses three key opportunities to guide and shape the Association's activities and the allocation of resources each year. First, in Spring it approves the priorities and budget guidelines recommended to it by the Finance and Budget Committee; second, in July it approves the annual budget that establishes the extent of resources that will be allocated to all activities; and third, in Fall it approves the Executive Director's (and through the Executive Director, the staff's) primary objectives for the next year. All three events are tied to the Executive Board approved Strategic Directions. The Board's priorities and activities will be consistent with the Association's Strategic Directions and with the major initiatives already underway.

In a separate document, the Executive Director will outline her/his objectives for the year. These objectives will be consistent with and address priorities and activities approved by the Executive Board. The Executive Director will commit to making every reasonable effort to implement the objectives and any other priorities and activities that are approved by the Executive Board. Implementation may of course be affected by limitations of both staff time and Association resources. It is understood that the Executive Director may reallocate resources and reassign staff in order to achieve these objectives as long as changes are consistent with a reasonable interpretation of previous actions and existing policies approved by the Executive Board.

The Executive Board delegates to the Executive Director Review Committee, and in particular to the Past-President and the current President, the responsibility for reviewing achievements of the past year and for judging the extent to which the Executive Director and staff have been successful in meeting the Executive Board's expectations. By necessity, this is a subjective process and one that requires superb communication among all parties. To be effective it depends on a relationship based on mutual confidence and trust.

The steps in this confidential procedure are summarized in the following steps; the timetable is indicated for each:

  1. The Executive Director submits copies of his/her self-evaluation of the prior year and his/her goals for the upcoming year to the Executive Director Review Committee, which consists of the Past President (chair), President, Vice-President/President-Elect, Treasurer and Secretary. (September)

  2. The Committee chair forwards the Executive Director's self-evaluation and goals to the Executive Board and the former members of the Executive Board who left the Board at the annual meeting that year and requests written evaluations of the Executive Director. (September)

  3. The Executive Director Review Committee reviews the written evaluations and prepares a summary. This summary is given to the Executive Director prior to a meeting of the chair of the Review Committee, the President and Executive Director. (September/October)

  4. The evaluation is discussed during a conference call. Participants on this call are the chair of the Review Committee (the Past President), the President and Executive Director. A tentative draft of goals and objectives is developed for the next contract year. (September/October)

  5. The Committee meets, by conference call, to confirm the statement of objectives for the coming year and to consider possible increases in compensation and benefits for the Executive Director in the next contract year. (October)

  6. The Committee prepares a confidential report to the Executive Board. The statement of objectives for the coming year (developed as described above) is distributed to the Executive Board by the Chair of the Committee. The Committee's recommendations on compensation and benefits are prepared, but not discussed with the Executive Director prior to the Fall Board Meeting when the Board meets in Executive Session. (October)

  7. At the Fall Board meeting, the Board goes into Executive Session to discuss the Committee's report and recommendations for compensation and benefits. The Board votes in Executive Session. (October/November)

  8. When the Board reconvenes in open session, the President will report that the Board voted on the recommendations of the Executive Director Review Committee, and that the chair of the Committee and the President will meet as soon as possible to report to the Executive Director on the actions of the Board.

  9. The details of the discussion and the actual agreement remain confidential.

  10. The chair of the Executive Director Review Committee shall communicate the amount of salary increase, if any, for the Executive Director to the Director of Finance and Administration.
  11. The Executive Director Review Committee will maintain a confidential personnel file which shall include the following regarding the employment of the Executive Director:

    • Contract
    • Any amendments to contract
    • Copy of current and previous position descriptions ("AALL Executive Director Responsibilities")
    • Copies of reviews, including Executive Director's self-evaluation and summary of Board responses, and annual statement of goals and objectives for the Executive Director
    • Annual Board decisions regarding salary and benefits
    • Copies of notes of any other performance-related discussions, if applicable

    At the conclusion of the performance review process each year (November), the Review Committee Chair will:

    • add original of that year's review, salary and benefits decision, and any other relevant documents to the file
    • send a copy of each of the documents being added to the file to the AALL Attorney
    • transfer the file to the current President, who will serve as Review Committee Chair the following year