Trustee Byrum: Statement on First Year Evaluation of Dr. Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D.

Dec. 18, 2020

The Board of Trustees is charged with conducting an annual performance evaluation of the president. Led by the Committee on Budget and Finance, the first-year evaluation of President Stanley was conducted this fall.

The evaluation was conducted with the goals of evaluating the President’s leadership in the context of contributing to the success of the university, affirming with a clear understanding the priorities of the Board, deepening the Board’s communication and relationship with the President, and fulfilling the governance responsibility of the Board.

President Stanley’s first year assessment covered the 2019-2020 academic year and focused on the following areas:

  • Initiate and continue to implement a comprehensive outreach program for the university.
  • Lead the university’s responses to the U.S. Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services mandates in response to the Nassar and Strampel cases.
  • Examine both the structure and composition of the senior leadership team with the goal of improving the effectiveness, efficiency, responsiveness, and quality of the university administration.
  • Initiate a strategic planning process for MSU as a whole and for diversity, equity and inclusion at MSU.
  • Begin to develop relationships and engage with MSU alumni and donors throughout the U.S. and internationally.
  • Response to COVID-19.

The evaluation process consisted of a self-assessment and input from Trustees on the extent to which these performance goals were satisfied. The process also included the opportunity for Board members to provide other feedback and recommendations.

In sum, the Board determined the President met or exceeded his performance goals. The first year of any new presidency is a challenge and President Stanley’s first year at MSU was met with not only the challenges of leading our university out of an institutional crisis but responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unforeseen disruptions to everything the faculty, staff, and students considered normal.

The Board then worked with the President to establish goals for next year. An annual evaluation of the President’s performance in these areas will be performed again next summer. In the future, a comprehensive evaluation including input from diverse stakeholders will be performed as well.

Following an annual performance review, under the Board’s sole discretion, a bonus of up to 20% of the President’s annual base salary may be considered based on the extent to which the performance goals have been satisfied. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related financial impact on the University, action on the President’s performance bonus was deferred by the Board until next fiscal year.