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Deans Review Process


In 2019, the Office of the Provost implemented a review process for deans at Northwestern University with the goal of ensuring that school strategies are aligned to University priorities and carried out effectively to further enhance Northwestern’s growing prominence and impact. The process takes place during the penultimate year of each dean’s five-year term and provides a high-level assessment of a dean's leadership to inform the Provost's decision on whether to reappoint a dean. 


The Provost appoints a small faculty ad hoc work group to lead community engagement in their school and to provide the Provost with advisory input regarding the dean’s performance. Guided by criteria provided by the Office of the Provost, the work group gathers perspectives on the dean's performance. The ad hoc work group conducts a focused set of meetings with dean’s staff, department chairs and program directors, and representative student leaders. Perspectives from the broader school community are also gathered through a survey of faculty and staff. 

Most Recent Review

Dean David Figlio in the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) was reviewed through this process during Winter and Spring 2021. Provost Kathleen Hagerty appointed a three-person faculty ad hoc review group to lead the engagement process and provide advisory input. 

The following faculty members were part of this ad hoc review group for SESP:

  • Dan McAdams, Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology (Chair)
  • Emma Adam, Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Human Development and Social Policy
  • Megan Bang, Professor of Learning Sciences

The review resulted in the announcement of Dean Figlio’s reappointment on Oct. 7, 2021. Figlio departed the University on May 15, 2022, to become provost at the University of Rochester.

If you have any questions or input on the dean review process, please email