New Evaluation System Being Discussed

Higher Education Commissioner Tom Layzell is preparing recommendations that could bring changes in the way the College Board evaluates university presidents. The new look at the job performance evaluation process follows criticism by former University of Southern Mississippi President Horace Fleming Junior.

Fleming has said a better evaluation process is needed. The board is not expected to act on the recommendations until at least November. Board member Ricki Garrett of Clinton says the panel is considering conducting evaluations earlier in the final year of the contract and ``get input from constituent groups.'' Garrett says the process can be improved. Garrett says she's unsure if the board would have reached a different decision regarding Fleming, even if other evaluation procedures were in place at the time.

The board voted in July to give the USM president a one-year contract extension, rather than the standard four-year deal. Fleming declined and resigned from the job.